Kepler finds alien solar system similar to our own

Diagram of Kepler-30 solar system, showing alignment of the three known planets.
Credit: Cristina Sanchis Ojeda

The Kepler space telescope has been finding a wide variety of alien worlds, as well as solar systems that they reside in. In our own solar system, the planets are in nice, neat orbits which are aligned with the Sun’s equator, consistent with the idea that they formed from a relatively flat, spinning disk of gas and dust around the Sun billions of years ago.

So far, other solar systems found haven’t tended to follow that pattern. Did that mean our solar system was a fluke? But now, Kepler has found one, about 10,000 light-years away. Scientists at MIT, the University of California at Santa Cruz and other institutions made the discovery from analysis of Kepler data.

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Paul Scott Anderson is a freelance space writer with a life-long passion for space exploration and astronomy. He started his blog The Meridiani Journal in 2005, which is a chronicle of planetary exploration. He also publishes The Exoplanet Report e-paper. In 2011, he started writing about space on a freelance basis, and now also currently write for AmericaSpace and He has also written for Universe Today and SpaceFlight Insider, has been published in The Mars Quarterly and has done supplementary writing for the well-known iOS app Exoplanet for iPhone and iPad.