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Amateur astronomers in New Zealand help to discover solar system like ours


So many stars. Somewhere (not necessarily in this shot of an open star cluster in the constellation Scorpius) is the solar system in Scorpius that was discovered.
Image: N. A. Sharp, REU Program, NASA

The New York Times reports -

Astronomers say they have found a miniature version of our own solar system 5,000 light years across the galaxy — the first planetary system that really looks like our own, with outer giant planets and room for smaller inner planets. . .

Among those who provided crucial data and appeared as lead authors of the paper in Science were a pair of amateur astronomers from Auckland, New Zealand, Jennie McCormick and Grant Christie, both members of a group called the Microlensing Follow-Up Network, or MicroFUN. Ms. McCormick, who described herself as “an ordinary New Zealand mother,” said she had done her observing with a 10-inch Meade telescope from a shed in her back yard.

Amateur astronomer Caroline Herschel (scroll to 1780s) was one of the first women to make stellar contributions.

Via Instapundit