The Theoretical Ultimate Solar System of Sixty Habitable Earths

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Why settle for one habitable planet, when you can have 60? An astrophysicist has designed the ultimate star system by cramming in as many Earth-like worlds as possible without breaking the laws of physics.

Sean Raymond of Bordeaux Observatory in France started his game of fantasy star system with a couple of ground rules. First, the arrangement of planets must be scientifically plausible. Second, they must be gravitationally stable over billions of years: there is no point in putting planets into orbit only to watch them spiral into the sun.

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To start with he chose a red dwarf star as the system’s host because they have a lower mass than stars like our sun and so live longer, giving a stable habitable zone.

An Earth-sized planet can also have an almost Earth-sized moon, with the two worlds orbiting around a central point. What’s more, two pairs of planets can orbit a star at the same distance, provided that they are separated by 60 degrees, thanks to a couple of gravitationally stable points.

In our solar system these points are normally inhabited by asteroids, rather than planets, but nothing rules out a multiple planet scenario.

Via NewScientist for the full story.

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About Heretic

I design video games for a living, write fiction, political theory and poetry for personal amusement, and train regularly in Western European 16th century swordwork. On frequent occasion I have been known to hunt for and explore abandoned graveyards, train tunnels and other interesting places wherever I may find them, but there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that I am preparing to set off a zombie apocalypse. Nothing that will stand up in court, at least. I use paranthesis with distressing frequency, have a deep passion for history, anthropology and sociological theory, and really, really, really hate mayonnaise. But I wash my hands after the writing. Promise.

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