With help from European Southern Observatory’s 3.6 m Telescope in Chile, a team of astronomers identified what may look like our solar system’s dopplegänger. Unlike other solar systems spotted so far, this one has a planet that looks like, feels like, and moves just like our Jupiter.
According to astronomers, the newly found solar system dubbed HIP 11915 has a Sun-like at the center and several planets that orbit it. Additionally, the said Jupiter-like planet has a Jupiter-like volume, and moves in a Jupiter-like manner around its host star. The host star, the team said, has the approximate age of our star and has a very similar composition.
Currently, researchers hope that HIP 11915 may also have Earth-like habitable planets nearby its Sun-like star that may stand as potential candidates for hosting life. Until now, most past studies analyzed solar systems that were very different from our own in that their inner regions were populated by large, massive planets. Our solar system has tiny planets closer to the Sun, and more massive planets like gas giants farther out.
Researchers explained that larger planets that were close to their host stars were more visible to our instruments than smaller low-mass planets. Huge planets that are far from their stars are also hard to detect. That’s why many recently found exoplanets are giant planets that orbit closely their host stars.
Scientists explained that finding a solar system with a Jupiter-like planet in it orbiting is host star at the same distance Jupiter orbits our Sun is a major milestone in astronomy. Jupiter’s gravitational pull made possible the current configuration of our planetary system which is so favorable to hosting life.
Jorge Melendez, lead-author of the study and professor at the Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil, dubbed the newly found planetary system “Solar System 2.0.” He also said that his team was currently looking for an “Earth 2.0” within the system.
“We are thrilled to be part of this cutting-edge research, made possible by the observational facilities provided by ESO,”
Prof. Melendez added.
Megan Bedell, a researcher from the University of Chicago who was also involved in the discovery, deemed the discovery an “exciting sign” that there may be more planetary systems that mirror our won out there just waiting to be discovered. She also said that the finding was possible with help from HARPS, a state-of-the-art exoplanet-hunting instrument attached to the ESO’s 3.6m telescope at La Silla Observatory in Chile.
Image Source: Science Blog.dk