system that is strikingly similar to our own. The new image shows two huge
exoplanets orbiting a young, sun-like star about 300 light-years away. It looks
more like a family portrait.
The image was captured with the Very Large Telescope of the
European Southern Observatory, which is located in Chile’s Atacama Desert. The
newly discovered solar system will aid astronomers in better understanding how
our solar system developed and evolved. The has been published in The
Astrophysical Journal Letters.
The star, identified as TYC 8998-760-1 and found in the
Southern constellation Musca, is only 17 million years old, making it a “very
young version of our own sun,” according to researchers. In comparison, the sun
is 4.6 billion years old.
Both planets orbiting the star, named TYC 8998-760-1b and
TYC 8998-760-1c, are considered to be gas giants, meaning they are mostly made
up of hydrogen and helium. They are, however, much further away from their host
star than our gas giants Jupiter and Saturn, at 160 and 320 times the Earth-sun
distances, respectively. They’re also a lot heavier than our solar system’s gas
The two planets, which appear as two bright points of light
in the photograph, are seen orbiting their parent star in the top left corner.
They still light brightly enough to be observed from Earth since they formed so
It’s the first time astronomers have discovered multiple
planets around a star comparable to our sun. Only two other systems like ours
have ever been discovered, both with stars that are completely different from