LONDON: British scientists have discovered five Earth-sized planets around a distant star in the Milky Way galaxy leading to a possibility of finding life out there.
Led by University of Birmingham, astero-seismologists have discovered a solar system with five Earth-sized planets dating back to the dawn of the Galaxy.
Thanks to the Nasa Kepler mission, the scientists announced on Tuesday the observation of a Sun-like star (Kepler-444) hosting five planets with sizes between Mercury and Venus.
Kepler-444 was formed 11.2 billion years ago, when the Universe was less than 20% its current age. This is the oldest known system of terrestrial-sized planets in our Galaxy — 2 and a half times older than the Earth.
The team carried out the research using astero-seismology — listening to the natural resonances of the host star which are caused by sound trapped within it. These oscillations lead to miniscule changes or pulses in its brightness which allow the researchers to measure its diameter, mass and age. The planets were then detected from the dimming that occurs when the planets transited, or passed across, the stellar disc. This fractional fading in the intensity of the light received from the star enables scientists to accurately measure the size of the planets relative to the size of the star.