Natue’s journal published a study on Wednesday, announcing the discovery of a pack of six ancient planets circling a sun-like star. These “sub-Neptunes” offer unique insight into planetary formation and the frequency of such planets in our galaxy. Although these worlds are too toxic and hot for humans, their stable, mathematical orbital patterns reveal significant truths about the universe. These findings provide a Rosetta stone to decipher the mysteries of planet evolution.
More than 150 scientists from across the globe came together to craft the report “A resonant sextuplet of sub-Neptunes transiting the bright star HD 110067,” which details the planetary system of a nearby star located in the Coma Berenices constellation. HD 110067 isn’t visible to the human eye, but being just 100 light-years away, it’s closer than previously known planetary stars. This star basks in valuable light which allows astronomers to render planets hidden within its gleam visible using special techniques like identifying periodic wobbles in the starlight caused by orbiting planets.
Results from various powerful telescopes support the notion that more undiscovered planets exist within this stellar system. Continued research and technological advancements may hold the key to uncovering the mysteries of these ancient planets, providing clues about their atmospheres and what these planets are composed of. With the James Webb Space Telescope’s exploration, answers may soon be revealed.