Two huge planets found orbiting a star 375 light-years away are the oldest alien worlds yet discovered, scientists say.
With an estimated age of 12.8 billion years, the host star—and thus the planets—most likely formed at the dawn of the universe, less than a billion years after the big bang.
The Milky Way itself was not completely formed yet at that time!
Despite the newfound planets’ longevity, it’s unlikely the worlds will survive for another 13 billion years.
The parent star will soon transform into a red giant, one of the last stages of a sunlike star’s life. During this stage, the star will swell in size and most likely engulf any nearby planets. Learn more here.