Alien Solar System Is a Lot Like Ours, Say Astronomers

Using NASA's Kepler space telescope, astronomers have found an alien solar system that exhibits the same structure as ours, with planets rotating on a single plane around their parent star. 

What's the Latest Development?


Examining data from NASA's Kepler space telescope, astronomers have found that an alien planetary system bears many similarities to our own, confirming parts of planet formation theory which suggest that most planetary systems begin in similar fashion. "Researchers studying the star system Kepler-30, which is 10,000 light-years from Earth, found that its three known worlds all orbit in the same plane, lined up with the rotation of the star—just like the planets in our own solar system do." The planetary system consists of three known extrasolar planets circling a sunlike star, all of which are much larger than Earth. 

What's the Big Idea?

Since its launch in March 2009, the Kepler space telescope has located more than 2,300 potential alien worlds, 700 of which have been confirmed as genuine planets. "Kepler uses the 'transit method,' noting the telltale brightness dips caused when a planet crosses, or transits, a star's face from the telescope's perspective. In the new study, the scientists studied Kepler observations of the extrasolar system even more closely." While we once believed our position in the cosmos was privileged, it is becoming clearer than our solar system, sun and planet may be rather ordinary. Astronomers have identified between five and ten alien planetary systems where they can further test their theories. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

10 books to check out from Jordan Peterson's 'Great Books' list

The Canadian professor has an extensive collection posted on his site.

Jordan Peterson with Carl Jung and the cover art of Jaak Panksepp's 'Affective Neuroscience' (Image: Chris Williamson/Getty Images/Big Think)
Personal Growth
  • Peterson's Great Books list features classics by Orwell, Jung, Huxley, and Dostoevsky.
  • Categories include literature, neuroscience, religion, and systems analysis.
  • Having recently left Patreon for "freedom of speech" reasons, Peterson is taking direct donations through Paypal (and Bitcoin).
Keep reading Show less

Scientists claim the Bible is written in code that predicts future events

The controversy around the Torah codes gets a new life.

Michael Drosnin
Surprising Science
  • Mathematicians claim to see a predictive pattern in the ancient Torah texts.
  • The code is revealed by a method found with special computer software.
  • Some events described by reading the code took place after the code was written.
Keep reading Show less

Should you invest in China's stock market? Know this one thing first.

Despite incredible economic growth, it is not necessarily an investor's paradise.

Videos
  • China's stock market is just 27 years old. It's economy has grown 30x over that time.
  • Imagine if you had invested early and gotten in on the ground floor.
  • Actually, you would have lost money. Here's how that's possible.