Posted on Thursday, January 16, 2014
By Kadri
Messier 67 is an open star cluster in the constellation Cancer, in which most of the stars are about a billion years younger than the Sun.

Star clusters have been thought to be unlikely places for planets as that many stars nearby that also have stellar wind might blow away all of the material left from star formation and hence there wouldn't be anything left for the formation of planets.

Apparently this however is not the case, as the observations with ESO's 3.6 metre telescope at La Silla Observatory have shown.

The scientists observed 88 select stars in the cluster for six years, and they found three exoplanets, out of which two planets are orbiting stars very much like our own Sun, and one of them is almost identical to our Sun.

The planets however are all gas giants, and closer to their stars than the habitable zone.

Here's an image of the star cluster,

Credit: ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2, Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin


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