Thibaut Roger/NCCR Planets
An illustration shows how the orbits of the six planets in the HD110067 system create a mesmerizing geometric pattern due to their unusual resonance chain.

Astronomers discover six planets orbiting a nearby sun-like star

Astronomers have discovered a six-pack of planets, formed at least 4 billion years ago and remarkably unchanged since, orbiting a nearby sun-like star. The new planets, described in a paper published Wednesday in the journal Nature, could provide a breakthrough in the understanding of how planets form and why there are so many between the sizes of Earth and Neptune, a class known as “sub Neptunes” that is astoundingly common in our galaxy.

“Occasionally, nature reveals an absolute gem,” Sara Seager, professor of planetary science and a co-author of the new paper, said in an email. “HD 110067 is an immediate astronomical Rosetta stone — offering a key system to help unlock some mysteries of planet formation and evolution.”

Read more via Washington Post.