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Mysterious Solar System: Scientists have discovered a mysterious solar system that is very old, very different from ours



Oldest planetary debris: About 90 light-years away, researchers have spotted a white dwarf star more than 10 billion years old—the hot remnant of a dying star similar to the Sun. It is surrounded by a collection of broken planetary fragments called planetesimals.

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Space is the mystery it holds. Every day we get some news from space, which is new, never heard before. Now scientists have discovered an ancient solar system in space, which is very different from our cosmic world.

About 90 light-years away, researchers have spotted a white dwarf star more than 10 billion years old – the hot remnant of a dying star like the Sun. It is surrounded by a collection of broken planetary fragments, called planetesimals. This faint star is also formed from the same fragments. But this solar system is very different from the solar system around us. It is loaded with elements like lithium and potassium. But none of the planets in our solar system have this structure.

Now the question is, why was this oldest solar system so different from our original Milky Way Galaxy? And how come the Solar System is rich in rare materials like lithium and potassium? “It’s a complete mystery,” Abigail Elms, the University of Warwick PhD student who discovered the white dwarf planet, told Mashable. The research was published this week in the journal Science, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

This solar system is old. That is, the white dwarf (called WDJ2147-4035) and its surrounding solar system formed and died before the birth of the Sun and Earth. In fact, fragments of former planets around WDJ2147-4035 are the oldest planetary bodies found around a white dwarf in our galaxy, Elms noted.

How did astronomers know what the solar system is made of?

Using the observatory, they discovered this white dwarf in space and Gaia, another planet of the same age. This distant spacecraft is mapping the cosmic stars and galaxies while orbiting the Sun. After identifying these white dwarfs, the researchers used an instrument called the ‘X-Shooter’ aloft in Chile to find out what is and is not in the star’s atmosphere. In this context it is good to know that this X-shooter is a kind of valuable astronomical instrument called ‘spectrometer’.

The researchers say that WDJ2147-4035 contains chemicals such as lithium, potassium and sodium, or has been gravitationally collected around it – the first discovery of such elements in an ancient star. White dwarfs are composed of hydrogen or helium, so their contribution to the planet’s rocky remains is substantial in providing other elements. And from there the researchers got clues as to how they contained various elements that are not in our solar system.

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Interestingly, another white dwarf star (WDJ1922+0233) discovered by scientists is even more mysterious. They determined that the star is pulling up planetary debris that resembles Earth’s rocky crust. While this solar system doesn’t exactly match our own, the other shows that Earth isn’t so unique in the universe: there are other solar systems just like it.