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Waspie_Dwarf

[merged] Ancient Worlds from Another Galaxy

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Ancient Worlds from Another Galaxy Discovered Next Door

Mauna Kea, HI – An international team of scientists, led by astronomers at Queen Mary University of London, report of two new planets orbiting Kapteyn’s star, one of the oldest stars found near the Sun. One of the newly-discovered planets could be ripe for life as it orbits at the right distance to the star to allow liquid water on its surface. The paper is being published by the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society on June 4.

Dutch astronomer Jacobus Kapteyn discovered the star at the end of the 19th century. It is the second fastest moving star in the sky and belongs to the galactic halo, an extended cloud of stars orbiting our galaxy. With a third of the mass of the sun, this red-dwarf can be seen in the southern constellation of Pictor with an amateur telescope.

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Posted (edited)

Saw this at work today, thought it definitely deserved a share.

The likely remnant core of the original dwarf galaxy is Omega Centauri, an enigmatic group of stars 16,000 light years from Earth that contains hundreds of thousands of similarly old suns and was long thought to be a globular cluster. This sets the most likely age of Kapteyn's Star and its planets at 11.5 billion years, which is 2.5 times older than Earth and "only" 2 billion years younger than the Universe itself (which has been measured to be 13.7 billion years old).

Read on for full story. http://www.science20.com/news_articles/13_light_years_away_two_planets_discovered_orbiting_a_nearby_ancient_star_in_the_galactic_halo-137780

Edited by CRYSiiSx2
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