Astronomers used the European Southern Observatory telescope and spotted a planet-star scheme that resembles the Jupiter-Sun one.
A Brazilian-led team made the discovery in an effort to find other stars like the Sun in order to discover other planetary systems that are similar to our own. The researchers found the twin of Jupiter at the exact distance as our Jupiter orbits from the Sun, orbiting from a star resembling the Sun called HIP 11915.
This discovery has been accredited to HARPS, which is one of the most exact planet hunting instruments in the world, installed on the European Southern Observatory telescope from Chile, in the La Silla Observatory.
The scientists say that even though other people have found planets which are similar to Jupiter and orbiting other stars inside the galaxy, the recently discovered exoplanet is the most similar to the Jupiter and Sun system in both distance and mass from the host star, and in similarity between our Sun and the planet’s host star.
The host of the exoplanet, the Sun twin called HP 11915, is similar in mass to our Sun and is also around the same age. But there are even more similarities, such as its composition which is also similar to our Sun’s. The chemical signature of the Sun could be marked by the existence of planets in the Solar System, which hints at a possibility that there could also be rocky planets around the newly discovered HP 11915.
Jorge Melendez from the Universidade de Sao Paolo in Brazil, co-author of the study and leader of the team of astronomers said that the search for an Earth 2.0 and a complete Solar System 2.0 has been one of the most fascinating projects in astronomy. He added that they are delighted to be part of the research which is only possible because of the observational facilities which are provided by the European Southern Observatory.
Megan Bedell of the University of Chicago and also the lead author of the study said that after 20 years of searching for exoplanets, we are at long last starting to discover gas planets resembling those in our Solar System thanks to instruments such as HARPS. This recent discovery is in every aspect a very thrilling sign that there may be other solar systems out there just waiting to be found.
Some other observations are required in order to confirm the finding but there is no doubt that HIP 11915 is among the most appealing candidates to hold a planetary system that is similar to our own.
Image Source: ngm.nationalgeographic.com