New ancient planetary system discovered
In a new paper by the Astrophysical Journal, NASA scientists have announced the discovery of the oldest star in the history of the universe. Named after the space telescope that made the discovery, Kepler-444 is an orange sun orbited by five small Earth-sized planets that scientists believe were capable of hosting life much earlier than previously thought. Determined by asteroseismology to be 11.2 billion years old, this sun has been around for 80% of the universe's 13.8 billion-year existence.
The star's orbiting planets, which are approximately twice as old as the Earth, orbit Kepler-444 in the "goldilocks zone," an area closer to Kepler-444 than Mercury is to our sun. This star is 117 light years away from Earth and three-fourths the size of our sun but has the capability to burn for 30 billion years, versus our sun's expected 10 billion-year lifespan.