Daily Illuminator

July 31, 2003: Oldest Planet Yet

Scientists have discovered a gas giant about 2-1/2 times the size of Jupiter circling a distant pulsar. Named Methuselah, the planet is estimated to be 12.5 billion years old (by comparison, Earth is considered to be only 4.5 billion years old or so . . .). This is important because the discovery of a planet this old, in a location where they had previously not expected to find any planets at all, means there could be many, many more planets out there than previously thought. And the more planets that are out there, the more likely some of them contain life.

Read the Science News Online story for more information.

-- Scott Haring

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