Planets, planets, everywhere

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Every year we see to find more and more astonishing discoveries about planet survivability. First we found that binary stars can have planets, then we found that huge, short lived stars can have planets. No we find that old stars can have planets.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v493/n7434/full/nature11805.html

A star, called TW Hydrae, thought to be too old for plan­et mak­ing has been found mak­ing new plan­ets. The old star is about 176 light years from Earth and NASA reports that astronomers using the Her­schel Space Tele­scope found that the star may be big enough to make fifty more Jupiter-sized plan­ets as the artist’s illus­tra­tion shows above.

Adwin Bergin, an astronomer at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan in Ann Arbor and leader of the study, said in the announce­ment, “We didn’t expect to see so much gas around this star. Typ­i­cal­ly stars of this age have cleared out their sur­round­ing mate­r­i­al, but this star still has enough mass to make the equiv­a­lent of 50 Jupiters.”

And with every extra planet, comes more and more chance for the existence of life.

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10 comments on “Planets, planets, everywhere

  1. Every Planet is different in size it’s very hard to compare actual things to match the size of the planets minus pluto and Mercury. Also around 3:33am there seems to be a alot of shooting stars and its amazing to see the shooting stars. Is there a explanation for this to happen around this time frame?

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  2. Very interesting article, but i wonder if any of the new planets that are forming will be able to support human life. Another fascinating thing was how far the Hershal Space telescope is able to see.
    Aurelio Miralda

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  3. To be honest i didnt think i would like reading peoples blogs but these past couple of them have been very interesting i didnt know stars that old can create giant planets as big as jupiter.
    Hugo Anguiano

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  4. Wow this is really interesting I had no idea that the stars where the ones that formed the planets, nevertheless that such an old star can be capable of producing 50 Jupiter-sized planets.

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  5. It is hard to wrap your mind around the fact that this star is capable of producing 50 Jupiter-sized planets, given that Jupiter is our Solar System’s largest planet. I wonder what type of planets this star might form?

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  6. As per the article on the “nature.com” site “the circumstellar disk must have had a minimum mass of around 0.01 solar masses within about 100 astronomical units of the star1, 2, 3, 4. (One astronomical unit is the Earth–Sun distance.)”…that is huge, right?! How wonderful, the star’s not so old after all! I know how it feels!! 😀
    Lynn Guest

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