Top 7 Oldest Planets In The Universe

In the vast tapestry of the cosmos, there exists an intriguing class of celestial objects that stand as relics of a time long before our own corner of the universe came into existence. These ancient entities are the archaic sentinels of the universe's infancy.

Planets are often overlooked in favor of their more enigmatic counterparts, such as stars, galaxies, and black holes. Yet, these ancient celestial bodies, these primordial worlds, carry within them the keys to unlocking a profound chapter in the story of our universe.

These planets are far older than our own humble Earth, which itself is an ancient marvel in the context of human history. Here we would like to share with you the top 7 oldest planets in the universe.

7. TRAPPIST-1 Planets (5.4 - 9.8 Billion Years)

Credit: Wikimedia Commons via NASA

The TRAPPIST-1 system, is a distant star system located approximately 39 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Aquarius. This remarkable system boasts a total of seven known exoplanets, which were first discovered in 2017.

Among this septet of intriguing worlds, there exists one that is often referred to as the "oldest planet" in the TRAPPIST-1 family, and it is known as TRAPPIST-1h. The star, TRAPPIST-1, is an ultracool dwarf star, much smaller and cooler than our Sun.

This means that the habitable zone, where conditions might be right for liquid water and life, is much closer to the star. In terms of its age, astronomers estimate that TRAPPIST-1 and its planets are thought to be at least 5.4 billion years old which is roughly double our solar system.

6. Kepler-452b (~6 Billion Years)

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Kepler-452b, often referred to as Earth's "older cousin" or the "super-Earth," is a fascinating exoplanet that orbits a star known as Kepler-452, located approximately 1,400 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus.

It gained significant attention when it was discovered by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope in 2015 due to its many Earth-like characteristics. While Kepler-452b is not necessarily the "oldest planet" in the universe, it is certainly one of the most intriguing and Earth-like exoplanets known to date.

This exoplanet is positioned within its star's habitable zone, sometimes called the Goldilocks zone, which is the region around a star where conditions might be just right for the existence of liquid water on the planet's surface. Liquid water is a crucial ingredient for the development and sustainability of life as we know it.

5. 51 Pegasi b (6.1 - 8.1 Billion Years)

Credit: Wikimedia Commons via ESO

Located approximately 50 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Pegasus, 51 Pegasi b orbits the star 51 Pegasi, which is strikingly similar to our own Sun. This discovery, which occurred in 1995, was made possible by the radial velocity method.

This exoplanet orbits 51 Pegasi at an incredibly tight distance, completing its orbit in just over four Earth days. Its close proximity, combined with its mass, led to the realization that it is a "hot Jupiter" – a gas giant with characteristics vastly different from Earth.

Following its initial finding, 51 Pegasi b has been bestowed with two additional names, Bellerophon and Dimidium.

4. HD 80606 b (7.6 Billion Years)

Credit: Wikimedia Commons via NASA

HD 80606 b is located approximately 190 light-years away in Ursa Major's constellation. What sets HD 80606 b apart is its incredibly eccentric orbit around its host star, HD 80606. An eccentric orbit is highly elongated, causing the planet to swing from extreme proximity to the star, known as periastron, to a distant point in its orbit, known as apastron.

This exoplanet is also classified as a hot Jupiter. However, HD 80606's orbit is far from typical. It takes just over 111 days to complete its journey around HD 80606. As a consequence of its stretched-out orbital path, HD 80606 b experiences a stark contrast in temperature between one side and the other when it comes near its parent star. 

Based on NASA's findings, the hemisphere directly exposed to the star experiences a rapid temperature rise, soaring to over 1,100 degrees Celsius (2,000 degrees Fahrenheit).

3. 55 Cancri e (10.2 Billion Years)

Credit: Wikimedia Commons via ESA/Hubble

55 Cancri e, often referred to as a "super-Earth," is an exoplanet orbiting the star 55 Cancri, which is located in the constellation Cancer, approximately 40 light-years away from Earth.

It completes an orbit around 55 Cancri in just 18 hours, making it one of the closest known exoplanets to its star. This close proximity places 55 Cancri e in an environment vastly different from Earth, with scorching temperatures that can reach over 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit (2,200 degrees Celsius) on its surface.

55 Cancri e's sweltering conditions and lack of a breathable atmosphere make it an inhospitable place for life. Based on a study conducted in 2016, utilizing information from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, researchers suggest the presence of lava flows on the surface of 55 Cancri e.

2. Keppler-444 Planets (11.2 Billion Years)

Credit: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

The Kepler-444 system, which includes five known planets, is striking not only for the age of its planets but also for the star they orbit. Kepler-444 is a K-type dwarf star, much smaller and cooler than our Sun. Its age has been estimated at approximately 11.2 billion years, making it one of the oldest known stars in the Milky Way galaxy.

It is a rocky exoplanet, similar in composition to Earth, and its position within this ancient star system presents an intriguing celestial backdrop for understanding the conditions in the early universe.

Within the Kepler-444 system, the quintet of rocky planets varies in size, encompassing a spectrum that stretches from a planet resembling Mercury in size to one akin in magnitude to Venus.

1. PSR B12620-26 b (13 Billion Years)

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

PSR B1620-26 b, situated in the globular cluster Messier 4 is known to be the oldest planet in the universe dating back to 13 billion years ago. This exoplanet, sometimes affectionately referred to as "Methuselah" due to its extreme age, orbits a pulsar, which is the remnant of a massive star that has undergone a supernova explosion.

PSR B1620-26 b, the exoplanet in this system, is a gas giant, similar to Jupiter in many respects. This planet was first discovered by scientists in 1987 and they have continued their research with regards to the planets in this system.

The PSR B122620-26 b is measured at 2.5 times larger than that of Jupiter. The scientists believed that they would soon find more planets as such in the vicinity.


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