First Planet Found Around Solar Twin in Star Cluster
by SCook on January 29, 2014 - 4:41pm
Astronomers have discovered three planets in the star cluster of Messier 67. The Planets were discovered in an, open cluster, type of star cluster. An open cluster is a group of stars formed a cloud of gas and dust. Planetary discoveries outside of our solar system are common. In fact, it is said that over one thousand planets have already been discovered. However, what is so special about these three planets is that they are in a star cluster. This phenomenon is rare and only a few planets within star cluster have been found. In addition, among these three planets, one is orbiting a star that is a solar twin; this means that it is identical to the Sun. Even more astonishingly, this planet is said to be the first solar twin in a cluster that has been found to have a planet. Among these aforementioned discoveries, a planet even larger in size than Jupiter was also observed. The article explains that this star cluster is approximately 2500 light-years away, in the constellation of Cancer. The study of this star cluster will continue to answer questions such as “how stars with and without planets differ in mass and chemical makeup”. (http://esciencenews.com/articles/2014/01/15/first.planet.found.around.solar.twin.star.cluster)
The discovery made of these three new planets in the star cluster is fascinating because it arises new questioning in the field of astronomy such as how many planets are able to form in a crowded area such as a star cluster and if the mass of the stars is relevant to the creation of a planet. Hearing news about planets outside of our solar system is extremely intriguing because it allows us to find out more about the unknown. Questions about our solar system are still not entirely answered. The mere fact that astronomers are already studying outside our solar system is evidence of the extreme knowledge that has been answered in the world of astronomy in such a short period of time. It is exciting to hear of what new and special planets, such as the twin solar, will be found in the future.