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Another Solar System found, it too has eight planets like ours

Friday December 15, 2017 8:32 AM, ummid.com & Agencies

Solar System

Washington:
A solar system with as many planets as our own has been discovered with the help of NASA's Kepler space telescope and artificial intelligence, the US space agency said Thursday.

"Our solar system now is tied for most number of planets around a single star," NASA said in a statement.

However, none of the planets are expected to be hospitable to life.

The eight-planet system -- the largest known outside of ours -- orbits a star called Kepler 90 some 2,545 light-years away, according to a report by AFP.

"The Kepler-90 star system is like a mini version of our solar system," said Andrew Vanderburg, an astronomer at the University of Texas at Austin.

"You have small planets inside and big planets outside, but everything is scrunched in much closer."

The newly identified planet, Kepler-90i, is a rocky planet like Earth, but orbits its star once every 14.4 days, meaning a full year there is the same as two weeks on Earth.

"Kepler-90i is not a place I'd like to go visit, though," said Vanderburg.

"Its surface is likely far too hot."

NASA calculated its average temperature at about 800 degrees Fahrenheit (426 Celsius) -- as hot as Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun.

The Kepler telescope, which trails millions of miles behind Earth like a loyal pup, has gazed out into space since 2009. During that time it has brought in data from 150,000 stars. When an exoplanet crosses in front of one of them, Kepler registers a subtle dip in that star's sunlight.

Astronomers are confident that the exoplanet exists and that its surface temperature could exceed 800 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a shorter orbit than Mercury's, completing a circle around its star once every two weeks. "This is almost certainly an exoplanet," Vanderburg said, with the odds of a false positive being 1 in 10,000, The Washington Post reported.

 


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