A Seemingly Similar Solar System?

July 27, 2012 at 6:21 PM (astronomy topics, curious research, current news, extraterrestrial studies, science and technology, web gossip)

As studies of outer space are continuing, possibly increasing, some current researchers have encountered images of a solar system that is similar to our own solar system!  That does seem to be exciting!  I am reading through the details to find out just how much like our nook of space this particular solar system actually is presented.

The system is situated in orbit of the star Kepler-30.  This is roughly 10,000 light years away from our system (no, NOT nearby….).  The star itself poses intrigue because it is so similar to The Sun.  We have observed, so far, that three planets are in orbit of the star.

  The planets have been labeled as Kepler 30b, Kepler 30c, and Kepler 30d.  Each of these worlds is larger than Earth.  Kepler 30b is estimated to be 0.33 times the radius of Jupiter, and 3.7 times the radius of Earth.  30c is 1.28 times the radius of Jupiter, and it is 14.4 times the radius of Earth.  30d is .95 times the radius of Jupiter and 10.7 times the radius of Earth.

These planets are not classified as hot Jupiters!  Worlds classified as such orbit their host stars at extremely rapid rates, and they are situated extremely close to the stars.  Hot Jupiters are referred to as roasters because of their extreme proximity to their stars.  Whereas our Jupiter fluctuates between 460,000,00 miles and 507,000,000 miles from The Sun, these worlds are squeezed within orbits of Kepler 30 at roughly the distances equivalent to the space between The Sun and Mars!   

As far as scientists are aware, this is a three-planet system.  It would be an unusual find to recognize that additional planets orbit at extended distances from this star, beyond those that have been located, currently.  Imagine if those worlds would be Earth-like, perhaps, due to their being just far enough away from Kepler-30 to develop life-supporting atmospheres and surfaces?  The gas giants within the inner orbits, and the terrestrial worlds situated outside.  Hmph…..

Three known exoplanets orbit the star Kepler-30 in a configuration that is similar to our solar system's.










Kepler space telescope. Credit: NASA

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The Kepler Space Telescope

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