Scientists have discovered a rocky “super-Earth” planet in an ancient star system, which may have formed 10 billion years ago, only a few billion years from our Milky Way.
Why it matters: Newly discovered planets may not be able to sustain life, but in general, researchers believe that older planetary systems have long lifespans and are therefore more likely to harbor life.
- Lauren Weiss of the University of Hawaii said in an interview: “Oh my God, if we only existed for 5 billion years, you can imagine what would happen in a rocky world with a history of 10 billion years. . I want to find out.” A press conference at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society on Monday.
What they found: The planet named TOI-561
- Weiss said that this world is likely to have an ocean of magma on the side of the planet facing the star.
- Weiss also said that there are two other planets orbiting the star, which are considered gaseous and farther away than the rocky world.
- Researchers used NASA’s TESS mission and Keck Observatory to find and confirm the super-Earth, and a detailed study of the findings has been accepted Acta Astronomy.