“We Live in a Strange Solar System” (LISTEN Today’s Podcast)

 
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"There are a few things that make the solar system kind of strange." Lauren Weiss, an astrophysicist at the University of Montreal. "One of which is we have a giant planet. Only about 10 percent of sunlike stars have a giant planet. And there are probably even fewer that have two giant planets."

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In addition to giant Jupiter and lesser giant Saturn, we have tiny Mercury—just a bit bigger than Earth’s moon.

So if we’re weird, what does a typical solar system look like? Weiss and her team trained their telescopes on 355 star systems known to host a handful of small exoplanets. And they found that most of the planets within individual star systems tended to be similar in size.

Jupiter is not only the largest planet in our solar system, but it’s also the oldest, according to new research from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Image above).

The Daily Galaxy via Scientific American 

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