Astronomers have discovered two Earth-sized planets that survived getting caught in the red-giant expansion of their host star.
Steve Kawaler, professor of physics and astronomy at Iowa State University and a leader of the Kepler Asteroseismic Investigation, helped the research team study data from the Kepler space telescope to confirm that tiny variations of light from a star were actually caused by two planets of that star.
“This is a snapshot of what our solar system might look like after several billion more years of evolution,” Kawaler says. “This can help us learn about the future of planetary systems and of our own sun.”
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Photo credit: Stéphane Charpinet/Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie