The Azerbaijan State News Agency


'Perfect solar system' found in search for alien life

Baku, November 30, AZERTAC

Researchers have located "the perfect solar system", forged without the violent collisions that made our own a hotchpotch of different-sized planets, according to BBC News.

The system, 100 light years away, has six planets, all about the same size. They've barely changed since its formation up to 12 billion years ago.

These undisturbed conditions make it ideal for learning how these worlds formed and whether they host life.

The research has been published in the scientific journal, Nature.

The creation of our own solar system was a violent process. As planets were forming some crashed into each other, disturbing orbits and leaving us with giants like Jupiter and Saturn alongside relatively small worlds like our own.

In the system HD110067, as astronomers have rather drily named it, things couldn't be more different.

Not only are the planets similarly sized; in a far cry from the unrelated timing of the orbits of the planets in our own solar system, these rotate in synch.

In the time it takes for the innermost planet to go around the star three times, the next planet along gets around twice, and so on out to the fourth planet in the system. From there things change to a 4:3 pattern of relative orbit speeds for the last two planets.

This intricate planetary choreography is so precise that that the researchers have created a cyclical musical piece, akin to a Philip Glass-style composition, with notes and rhythms corresponding to each planet and their orbital periods. You can listen to some of it here:

Dr Rafael Luque, of the University of Chicago, who led the research described HD110067 as "the perfect solar system".

"It is ideal for studying how planets are created, because this solar system didn't have the chaotic beginnings ours did and has been undisturbed since its formation."

Dr Marina Lafarga-Magro, of Warwick University, said that the system was "beautiful and unique".

"It is really exciting, just seeing something that no-one has seen before," she told BBC News.

Over the past thirty years, astronomers have discovered thousands of star systems. But none of them are so well suited to study how planets formed. The planets' near identical size and the system's undisturbed nature are gold dust for astronomers because they make it much easier to compare and contrast them. That will help build up a picture of how they first formed and how they evolved.

The system also has a bright star which will make it easier to look for life signs in the planets' atmospheres.

All six of the new planets are what astronomers call "sub-Neptunes", which are larger than the Earth and smaller than the planet Neptune (which is four times wider than the Earth). The six newly discovered planets are between two and three times the size of Earth.

Interest in the new findings has been supercharged since the discovery in September that a sub-Neptune planet, called K2-18b, in another star system, has an atmosphere with hints of a gas that on Earth is produced by living organisms. Astronomers call this a biosignature.

Although our own solar system does not contain any sub-Neptunes, they are thought to be the most common type of planet in the galaxy. Yet astronomers know surprisingly little about these worlds.

They do not know whether they are mostly made of rock, gas or water, or critically, whether they provide conditions for life.

Finding out these details is "one of the hottest topics in the field" according to Dr Luque, adding that the discovery of HD110067 gives his team the perfect opportunity to answer that question relatively quickly.

"It could be a matter of less than ten years," he told BBC News.

"We know the planets, we know where they are, we just need slightly more time, but it will happen."

If the team's next round of observations indicates that sub-Neptunes can also support life, it greatly increases the number of possible habitable planets and therefore increases the chances of detecting signs of life on another world sooner rather than later.

The race is now on to detect biosignatures on one of the six new sub-Neptunes, or dozens of others detected by rival groups. With a battery of new telescopes with enhanced capabilities and others about to come online, many astronomers believe that we may not have too long to wait for that moment.

The planets were detected using NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and ESA's CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite (Cheops).

Share news on social media

Follow us on social network

First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva made post on Khojaly genocide

Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry issues statement on 32nd anniversary of Khojaly genocide

President Ilham Aliyev made post on anniversary of Khojaly genocide

8 die after bus overturns in South Africa

FC Qarabag advances in UEFA ranking

Khojaly genocide victims commemorated in Mexico

Scottish University of Aberdeen commemorates 32nd anniversary of Khojaly Genocide

Azerbaijani Defense Ministry presents weekly summary of events

Japanese gov't to spend additional 665 mln USD for rebuilding Noto region

ECOWAS lifts sanctions on Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali

Another Azerbaijan House opens in Poland

Azerbaijani gymnast claims bronze at 23rd Irina Deleanu Cup in Romania

Azerbaijani gymnast Nikita Simonov wins rings gold at World Cup

Azerbaijan Army positions in Nakhchivan direction subjected to fire

Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry: Armenia attempts to hide its armed provocations by spreading disinformation

President Ilham Aliyev congratulates Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his 70th anniversary

Awareness-raising campaign highlighting Khojaly genocide organized in London and Edinburgh

To His Excellency Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the Republic of Türkiye

Participants of Istanbul conference on “Decolonization: Awakening of the Renaissance” address letter to President of France

Georgian PM, Turkish Ambassador discuss strategic partnership

Türkiye to send new communications satellite into space within months

Dengue fever cases hit 1,075 in Laos since January

'99% chance' Mbappé joins Real Madrid - LaLiga chief Tebas

1st US spacecraft to make moon landing in half century runs into snag

Azerbaijan attends OIC ministerial conference in Istanbul

Azerbaijani gymnasts claim silver in 23rd Irina Deleanu Cup in Romania

“Decolonization: Awakening of the Renaissance” international conference wraps up in Istanbul

Doha hosts gala-concert marking Days of Azerbaijani Culture

New website highlighting Khojaly genocide launched

London hosts event on preparatory process for COP29

Baroness Emma Nicholson: I believe that Azerbaijan will perfectly conduct COP29

Azerbaijan Army positions in Kalbajar direction once again subjected to fire

To His Highness Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait

22 killed, 10 injured as tractor trolley overturns in India

Baku Initiative Group-organized Istanbul conference focuses on French colonial policy

Stunning 240 million-year-old 'Chinese dragon' fossil unveiled by scientists

Croatian Ivankovic appointed head coach of China men's football team

Hungary buys new Swedish fighter jets before NATO accession vote

Türkiye rapidly increasing its military deterrence capabilities, says communications director

Azerbaijani reservists fulfill fire tasks

Cuban Prensa Latina News Agency highlights Khojaly genocide

Eight people are killed in horror crash on California highway after van collides with pick-up truck

3 tiny new moons found around Uranus and Neptune — and one is exceptionally tiny

Azerbaijan’s anti-doping officials to join WADA`s 2024 Global Education Conference in Cannes

‘The Boys’ season 4 premiere date set at prime video

Turkmenistan hosts event on Azerbaijani cuisine and culture

Colonel-General Zakir Hasanov: “Pay special attention to further improving units’ combat training and military personnel’s individual professionalism"

Two Mississippi National Guardsmen dead in military helicopter crash

Intel will make chips for Microsoft

Speaker of Azerbaijan`s Milli Majlis meets Deputy Speaker of Shura Council of Qatar

Azeri Light crude dips to $86.11

Egypt announces $35 billion UAE investment on Mediterranean coast

Speaker of Azerbaijan`s Milli Majlis meets with her counterparts from Maldives and Sri Lanka

Plymouth WW2 bomb found in garden detonated at sea

15 dead in building fire in east China

Global oil markets witness price decline

Baku Initiative Group to organize “Decolonization: Awakening of the Renaissance” international conference in Istanbul

Magnitude 3.0 quake strikes Caspian Sea

Putin did not talk with Pashinyan about Armenia’s CSTO membership - Kremlin

Documentary and exhibition remembering Khojaly victims presented in Vienna

Ombudsman: Discovered mass graves portraying traces of crimes committed by Armenia against Azerbaijanis


Azerbaijan’s tourism potential promoted at SATTE 2024 in India

® Angela Pearl has been selected as a "Gold Member" of Millionaire Concept Network

FC Qarabag to take on Bayer 04 Leverkusen in UEFA Europa League round of 16 clash

Azerbaijan, Latvia discuss export of non-oil products

UEFA Europa Conference League Round of 16 draw unveiled

Türkiye exceeded 2 million tourists in January

Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan discuss preparations regarding COP29

US imposes 'crushing' sanctions on Russia 2 years after Ukraine invasion

Unexploded ordnances found in Aghdam district, says Defense Ministry

Over 100 cars collide on icy China expressway, several people injured

From Maha Vajiralongkorn, King of Thailand

® Nar supports final of Shekerbura Show Olympic Cup

14th plenary session of Asian Parliamentary Assembly concludes in Baku

Azerbaijan, US discuss opportunities for cooperation regarding COP29

From Srettha Thavisin, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand

Azerbaijan`s PM holds meeting with Speaker of Grand National Assembly of Türkiye

Baku hosts "Energy and Security Partnership" forum between Azerbaijani and Turkish youth

From Zoran Janković, Mayor of the city of Ljubljana

Another mass grave found in Azerbaijan’s Khojaly district

Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry comments on allegations made by Pashinyan during his interview to France 24 TV channel

Book exhibition “Ancient roots of Azerbaijan culture” launched at Qatar National Library

Japan PM Kishida to address U.S. Congress in April

Concert program celebrating Azerbaijan`s National Day arranged at Doha Expo 2023

Japan's economy in "state of inflation": BOJ chief

® Nar started cooperation with Azerbaijan University of Technology

Azerbaijan parliament appoints Fikret Mammadov as judge to Constitutional Court

® 1362 kg of unuseful household batteries collected within “Recycle batteries, protect nature” project

Armenia once again subjected to fire Azerbaijan Army positions on conditional border

Fire engulfs 2 buildings in Spanish city of Valencia, killing at least 4 people, nearly 20 missing

Baku hosts opening ceremony of FIG Trampoline Gymnastics and Tumbling World Cup - AG Trophy

Ukraine appoints new ambassador to Azerbaijan

From John Kevin Stitt, Governor of the State of Oklahoma

From Saad S. Khan, President of ECO Cultural İnstitute

James Webb Space Telescope spots neutron star hiding in supernova wreckage

Khojaly calls for justice!

Mosque in Sweden's capital again targeted by Islamophobes with threatening graffiti

First day of 14th plenary session of Asian Parliamentary Assembly wraps up in Baku

Guinness World Records annuls ‘oldest dog ever’ title for a dead Portuguese canine after an inquiry