Keck Observatory assists in discovery of rocky planet orbiting ancient star

  • An artist’s rendition of TOI-561, one of the oldest, most metal-poor planetary systems discovered yet in the milky way galaxy. This 10 billion-year-old system has a hot, rocky exoplanet (center) that’s one and a half times the size of earth as well as two gas planets (to the left of the rocky planet) that are about twice as large as Earth. (W. M. Keck Observatory/Adam Makarenk/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • An illustration showing the structural components of the Milky Way galaxy. The star TOI-561 is located in the thick disc (marked in red-orange), which contains a rare, older population of stars. While nearly all known planets are found within the thin disc (marked in orange), the newly discovered rock-and-lava exoplanet orbiting TOI-561 is one of the first confirmed rocky planets orbiting a galactic thick disc star. (Kaley Brauer, MIT/Special to West Hawaii Today)

University of Hawaii astronomers using W. M. Keck Observatory have discovered an ancient magma world orbiting a chemically unusual star