NASA’s flying observatory, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, lately finished a comprehensive study of a neighboring planetary system. The studies confirmed that this close planetary system has a design strangely similar to that of our solar system.
Situated 10.5 light-years away in the southern hemisphere of the constellation Eridanus, the star Epsilon Eridani, eps Eri for short, is the near most planetary system around a star alike to the early sun. It is a crucial place to study how planets form around stars like our sun.
With the fresh SOFIA images, Kate Su of the University of Arizona and her research group were able to locate this insanely similar solar system.
This study has been issued in the Astronomical Journal on April 25, 2017.
Su said: “The high spatial resolution of SOFIA combined with the unique wavelength coverage and impressive dynamic range of the FORCAST camera allowed us to resolve the warm emission around eps Eri, confirming the model that located the warm material near the Jovian planet’s orbit.
Furthermore, a planetary mass object is needed to stop the sheet of dust from the outer zone, similar to Neptune’s role in our solar system. It really is impressive how eps Eri, a much younger version of our solar system, is put together like ours.”
You can read more about this discovery here.