Over 13 billion years have passed since the universe was created. It has seen several planetary systems get old, die, and grow old. Astronomers have now discovered the remains of the Milky Way galaxy’s oldest solar system, which is about 90 light-years away from Earth.
Astronomers have discovered the oldest star in the Milky Way galaxy, which is currently burning debris from planetesimals. This planetary system, which has a faint white dwarf star, is one of the oldest known icy and rocky planetary systems in the galaxy.
A white dwarf star is a type of star that has already gone through a process of burning its fuel and then cooling and shrinking. Because of this, most stars, including our Sun, are destined to become white dwarfs. According to scientists, if a star goes out of its life, its planetary neighbours will most likely be destroyed.
Details of the findings published in the Royal Astronomical Society’s Monthly Notices have been revealed. Astronomers were able to model two white dwarf stars that were detected by the GAIA space observatory of the European Space Agency.
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One of the stars was spotted to be blue, while the other was red. It’s the faintest and reddest white dwarf star that’s been observed in the local neighbourhood.
According to Pier-Emmanuel Tremblay, a physics professor at the University of Warwick, the discovery of white dwarfs provides an opportunity to study the planetary formation process in a gas and metal-poor environment. “The conditions were different when the solar system was formed, and the observed white dwarfs provide us with an unprecedented window into the evolution of planetary systems.
To determine the cooling duration of the white dwarf star WDJ2147-4035, the team used data collected by various space observatories, such as the X-Shooter instrument and the Dark Energy Survey. The star is around ten billion years old.