Astronomers have discovered a distant "twin" solar system, which looks very similar to our own, prompting scientists to believe that they are a step closer to discovering other habitable planets.
So far scientists have found two different planets which look very similar to Jupiter and Saturn. To make things even more interesting, these two planets orbit a star about half the size of our Sun. But they believe that this is just the stepping point in discovering new planets which would be able to support life.
Martin Dominik, from St Andrews University, stated that the two stars have a similar mass ratio and similar orbital period like Saturn and Jupiter. Furthermore, he suggests that these may have formed in a similar way to our solar system and thus, our solar system might not be unique in the Universe.
So far, astronomers have found nearly 300 different planets outside of our solar system. The new system orbits the star called OGLE-2006-BLG-109L which is approximately 5,000 light years away.
What is really unusual about this system is the fact that there are two planets instead of one going around it. This is evident in only about ten percent of the cases found to date.
According to Dominik, the only reason why they are having trouble in exploring the Universe for further clues like this is limited technology. However, he also claimed that the technology is improving rapidly and expects habitable planets to be found in the next couple of years.
He added: "I think it will happen quite soon. In the next few years, we will see something really exciting."
For now, technology is still not really good to be able to find out more about this particular star.