Note in Science page
Created Jul 15 15, Updated Aug 04 15 16:29
Solar system twin? go to comments

Astronomers might have found a solar system twin: an international group of astronomers has identified a planet of Jupiter mass orbiting at a Sun-Jupiter distance from a Sun-like star.

Artist’s Impression of a Jupiter twin orbiting HIP 11915ESO/M. Kornmesser)

Jupiter twin discovered around solar twin

Found via the HARPS instrument, mounted on the ESO 3.6-metre telescope, the Sun like (same size, same age as our sun!) HIP 11915 star has a Jupiter-mass planet orbiting at the same distance as Jupiter orbits our sun.
The star is located in the constellation Cetus, about 200 light years away.

According to the most recent theories, the arrangement of our Solar System, so conducive to life, was made possible by the presence of Jupiter and the gravitational influence this gas giant exerted on the Solar System during its formative years. It would seem, therefore, that finding a Jupiter twin is an important milestone on the road to finding a planetary system that mirrors our own.

Although many planets similar to Jupiter have been found at a variety of distances from Sun-like stars, this newly discovered planet, in terms of both mass and distance from its host star, and in terms of the similarity between the host star and our Sun, is the most accurate analogue yet found for the Sun and Jupiter.

To further strengthen the similarities, the composition of the star is similar to the Sun’s. The chemical signature of our Sun may be partly marked by the presence of rocky planets in the Solar System, hinting at the possibility of rocky planets also around HIP 11915.

HIP 11915 is one of the most promising candidates so far to host a planetary system similar to our own…

“The Solar Twin Planet Search II. A Jupiter twin around a solar twin”, by M. Bedell et al., to appear in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.

p.s. and now a planetary system that includes three super-Earths and one outer giant planet has been discovered at a distance of “only” 21 light years from Earth. c.f. Three super-Earths found 21 light years from Earth
Together, all this proves that there should be a lot of systems with a “life friendly” “planetary architecture” like ours ... and soon we’ll have Breakthrough Listen...

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