January 28, 2015 | David

I consider the pyramids of Egypt to be pretty ancient. But on cosmic timescales their age hardly amounts to an eye blink. Now a team of scientists from the University of Birmingham have found something mind-bendingly old.

Using data from the Kepler space telescope, they've identified a solar system with five Earth-sized planets that's 11.2 billion years old. That's twice as old as our own Earth! This system probably can't support life, but I wonder if there's a really ancient civilisation out there somewhere, quietly waiting for us to notice it?


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The five planets are close to their star and orbit approximately once every ten Earth days.


Image: Flickr/Bill Lile

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