Astronomers have discovered a new planetary system outside our solar system. This planetary system has 7 planets, all of which are larger than Earth. The name of this planetary system is Kepler-385. The star of this system is about 10% larger than our Sun and 5% hotter.
The big question for astronomers is whether we are alone in this universe or if there could be life on other planets. A new discovery has sparked more curiosity about this question. A new mystery has emerged in the universe. NASA’s retired Kepler Space Telescope has spotted a system with seven planets, each receiving more radiant heat from their host star compared to any planet in our solar system.
This planetary system is named Kepler-385. Its special feature is that all seven planets are larger than Earth but smaller than Neptune. Kepler-385 is one of the few known planetary systems where more than six confirmed planets or planet candidates exist. Kepler has discovered approximately 4,400 planet candidates to date. Research scientist Jack Lissauer at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California, said, “We’ve prepared a list of the most promising candidates from Kepler.”
More Massive than the Sun Lissauer, also the lead author of the paper presenting the new list, said, “This list will enable astronomers to better understand the characteristics of exoplanets.” The star at the center of the planetary system Kepler-385 is similar to our Sun but is about 10% larger and 5% hotter. Two planets are slightly larger than Earth and likely rocky. The other five planets are considerably larger. Each has a diameter roughly double that of Earth and may have dense atmospheres.
Kepler’s Data Revelation The ability to describe the Kepler-385 system in such detail demonstrates the quality of the latest catalog. The goal of the previous catalog was to estimate the prevalence of planets around other stars. In contrast, the aim of the new catalog is to provide precise data about each planetary system. The primary mission of Kepler was completed in 2013. Subsequently, its mission was extended, known as K2, which continued until 2018. Data collected by Kepler still continues to unravel new mysteries today.