Solar system of ancient Earths found


Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

Worlds without end: Using archived Kepler data astronomers have identified a solar system of five Earth-sized exoplanets, orbiting a red dwarf star about 117 light years from Earth.

The paper describes Kepler-444, a star that’s 25 percent smaller than our sun and is 117 light years from Earth. The star’s five known planets have sizes that fall between Mercury and Venus. Those planets are so close to their star that they complete their orbits in fewer than 10 days. At that distance, they’re all much hotter than Mercury and aren’t habitable.

The important detail from this discovery is that the star is very ancient, more than 11 billion years old, which means these planets are that old as well. In other words, planets began forming the same time as the first stars. Which also means that there has been plenty of time in the universe for other intelligent life to form, besides our own.

Share

2 comments

  • Cotour

    What is the potential of a life form / civilization that might be say, 7 billion years old? I subtract 3 billion from the 11 billion to approximate our own earths life trajectory. If we have come from the horse and plow to exploring the universe 117 light years away in one hundred or so years, what is the potential ?

    In the book COSMOS by Carl Sagan the oldest civilization steps off into a place that is unknown or unknowable. Too far fetched? maybe not.

  • Cotour

    That’s the book CONTACT, not COSMOS, Im confusing his literary accomplishments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *