Over last couple of years, discovery of exoplanets has become a common news and recently, astronomers at NASA have confirmed that a star called Epsilon Eridani, ten light years away in the constellation Eridanus might contain important information as the star’s planetary system is pretty similar to ours.
Astronomer Massimo Marengo, one of the scientists studying Epsilon Eridani, wrote in the summary of the project, “This star hosts a planetary system currently undergoing the same cataclysmic processes that happened to the solar system in its youth, at the time in which the moon gained most of its craters, Earth acquired the water in its oceans, and the conditions favorable for life on our planet were set.”
While the astronomers have been studying the star for more than a decade now, this is the first time the scientists have managed to come up with the complete planetary system. Interestingly, NASA’s airborne observatory managed to investigate a debris disk in the system form from space rock collisions.
Talking about the disk, Kate Su, associate astronomer at the University of Arizona said, “It really is impressive how [Epsilon Eridani], a much younger version of our solar system, is put together like ours.”
“The prize at the end of this road is to understand the true structure of Epsilon Eridani’s out-of-this-world disk, and its interactions with the cohort of planets likely inhabiting its system,” Marengo wrote in a post about the project.”
“SOFIA, by its unique ability of capturing infrared light in the dry stratospheric sky, is the closest we have to a time machine, revealing a glimpse of Earth’s ancient past by observing the present of a nearby young sun.”
Featured Image: NASA