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Nearby planetary system can be a good model of our early Solar System due to similar Architecture: Study

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Solar system. Pixabay
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Washington, May 3, 2017: A nearby planetary system star could be a good model of our early solar system as it has an architecture remarkably similar to that of our own, astronomers have confirmed.

Located 10.5 light-years away in the southern hemisphere of the constellation Eridanus, the star Epsilon Eridani, eps Eri for short, is the closest planetary system around a star similar to the early Sun.

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It is a prime location to research how planets form around stars like our Sun, and is also the storied location of the Babylon 5 space station in the science fictional television series of the same name.

“It really is impressive how eps Eri, a much younger version of our solar system, is put together like ours,” said one of the researchers, Kate Su of the University of Arizona in the US.

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This study, based on data from NASA’s flying observatory, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, was published in the Astronomical Journal.

Massimo Marengo, Associate Professor at Iowa State University, and other astronomers have been studying the star and its planetary system since 2004.

In a 2009 scientific paper, the astronomers used data from NASA’s Spitzer space telescope to describe the star’s disc of fine dust and debris left over from the formation of planets and the collisions of asteroids and comets.

They reported the disk contained separate belts of asteroids, similar to the asteroid and Kuiper belts of our solar system.

Subsequent studies by other astronomers questioned that finding.

The new study used SOFIA and Spitzer data to confirm there are separate inner and outer disk structures. (IANS)

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Another Space Telescope Shuts Down: NASA

Launched by space shuttles in the 1990s, Hubble and Chandra are part of NASA's Great Observatories series.

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Second Space Telescope Shuts Down, NASA Says Pixabay

Another NASA space telescope has shut down and halted science observations.

Less than a week after the Hubble Space Telescope went offline, the Chandra X-ray Observatory did the same thing. NASA said Friday that Chandra automatically went into so-called safe mode Wednesday, possibly because of a gyroscope problem.

Hubble went into hibernation last Friday because of a gyroscope failure.

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This illustration made available by NASA shows the Chandra X-ray Observatory. On Oct. 12, 2018, the space agency said that the telescope automatically went into so-called safe mode on Oct. 10, possibly because of a gyroscope problem. VOA

Both orbiting observatories are old and in well-extended missions: Hubble is 28, while Chandra is 19. Flight controllers are working to resume operations with both.

NASA said it’s coincidental both went “asleep” within a week of one another. An astronomer who works on Chandra, Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, tweeted Friday that “Chandra decided that if Hubble could have a little vacation, it wanted one, too.”

Also Read: Astronomers Capture 15,000 Galaxies Using Hubble Telescope

Launched by space shuttles in the 1990s, Hubble and Chandra are part of NASA’s Great Observatories series. The others are the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, which was also launched in the 1990s but eventually failed and was destroyed, and the Spitzer Space Telescope, launched in 2003 and still working. Each was intended to observe the cosmos in different wavelengths. (VOA)

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