Scientists release first ever picture of solar system like our own 300 light years away

30 07月
作者:admin|分类:arts|标签:World News Daybreakers tendendo

An image of a young star much like our Sun has been captured alongside two giant exoplanets - around 300 light years away from our Earth.

This incredible glimpse is an exciting first, as systems with multiple exoplanets are extremely rare.

Scientists say they have never directly observed more than one planet orbiting a star similar to the Sun before.

Captured by the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (ESO's VLT), astronomers hope that it might answer some questions about how planets formed and evolved around our own Sun.

Professor Matthew Kenworthy from Leiden University, who co-authored the research.

He said: "Even though astronomers have indirectly detected thousands of planets in our galaxy, only a tiny fraction of these exoplanets have been directly imaged.

"Direct observations are important in the search for environments that can support life."

Shown full size below, the image captured two bright, giant exoplanets orbiting their star at distances of 160 and about 320 times the Earth-Sun distance respectively.

The star, which is officially named TYC 8998-760-1, is 17 million years old, making it a lot younger than our Sun at just over 4.5 billion years old.

"This discovery is a snapshot of an environment that is very similar to our Solar System, but at a much earlier stage of its evolution," said Alexander Bohn, a PhD student at Leiden University and lead researcher, whose findings are published in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

"The possibility that future instruments, such as those available on the ELT (Extremely Large Telescope), will be able to detect even lower-mass planets around this star marks an important milestone in understanding multi-planet systems, with potential implications for the history of our own solar system."

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