NewsFlash: Milky Way Yields Saturn’s Super Twin –First Ringed Body Discovered Beyond Solar System




A mysterious body detected outside our solar system five years ago may actually be a ringed planet similar to Saturn, according to researchers at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, who announced the discovery after studying an erratic eclipse of light from a star, suggesting a large orbiting body nearby. Saturn's super twin: Scientists discover first ringed body beyond our solar system. The astronomers studied the patterns of light during a 54-day period in early 2007.

Making the announcement at the 219th meeting of the American Astronomical Society, the study's co-author Eric Mamajek compared the 'very weird and unique object' causing the phenomenon to a 'Saturn on steroids.''After we ruled out the eclipse being due to a spherical star or a circumstellar disk passing in front of the star, I realised that the only plausible explanation was some sort of dust ring system orbiting a smaller companion — basically a Saturn on steroids,' he said.

The star the body eclipses, known as 1SWASP J140747.93-394542.6, lies about 420 light-years away and has a mass similar to the sun but, but is about 1/300th of its 16million years.Researchers do not yet know, however, whether the ringed body is a planet, a low-mass star or a brown dwarf.

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