Researchers have identified what they say is one of the earliest planetary systems ever discovered. The planetary system contains a rocky planet known as TOI-561b orbiting a star 10 billion years old. This star is more than twice the age of the sun, and researchers say it shows that planets are forming from the early days of the universe.
The TOI-561b is about 1.5 times the size of Earth, making it a Super Earth. One of the most interesting aspects of Universe Is that it has an extremely fast orbit around its star more than twice in a single Earth day. It rotates very quickly because it is very close to the host star.
The odds of the giant Earth being habitable are slim. Its surface temperature is believed to be over 1700 ° C. Another interesting aspect of the planet is that it has an unusually low density for its size. While the mass of Earth is about three times greater, it has the same density as our planet. Scientists say this indicates that TOI-561b is very old.
Older planets are less dense because they contain fewer heavy elements such as metals. Heavy elements form inside stars as they age and transform into a supernova. A supernova explosion distributes the elements in the space around them, and the planets incorporate these elements as they form. In the early universe, there were fewer stellar explosions, and the result was the formation of planets with less heavy elements inside.
TOI-561b is on the oldest rocky planets ever discovered. Researcher Lauren Weiss said that the presence of TOI-561b proves that rocky planets have formed nearly since the beginning of the universe, 14 billion years ago. The planet was discovered using data from the NASA TESS mission and confirmed using the WM Keck Observatory in Hawaii.