Although scientists have found more than 4,000 exoplanets orbiting distant stars in the Milky Way galaxy, they have not yet found a planetary system similar to our solar system, as our planetary system may be the only one of its kind in the universe.
According to the "Science Alert" website, this has led some scientists to conclude that the solar system could be an exception, and that the conditions that formed the planet and helped in the process of reproduction above it - according to their opinion - are difficult to replicate.
Since the historic discovery of the first two planets orbiting a star outside our solar system in 1992, scientists thought they would surely find a system consisting of stars and planets similar to our solar system, but all their attempts have failed so far.
Thousands of "exoplanets" orbiting their stars have been discovered in the Milky Way.
But the only certain thing about this new world is that there is nothing else like our system, and that these planets that have been identified are not suitable for life and that most of them orbit the stars so closely that the temperatures would be much higher, so that life on these planets would be impossible. .
How many solar systems are there in our galaxy?
According to NASA, our planetary system is the only one officially called the "solar system", although astronomers have discovered thousands of other planets in our galaxy.
There are probably many more planetary systems in our galaxy waiting to be discovered, as our sun is just one of about 200 billion stars in the Milky Way.
This means that there are countless possibilities for the existence of exoplanets, but our technical and scientific capabilities are limited in discovering them.
Perhaps as scientists continue to search, they will find more places similar to our solar system.
But the issue is much more complex, as exoplanet science is limited by our technical capabilities.
Most of the exoplanets are located in orbits much shorter than Earth's orbit around the sun (Shutterstock)
How is our solar system different from everyone else?
When astronomers discovered the first planets orbiting other stars in the mid-1990s, one of the big surprises was that these planets consist of rocks, liquids and gases, some smaller than Earth, while others larger than any of the planets in the solar system.
Some of these planets orbit stars within a few hours, while others take several thousand Earth years to complete one orbit around their star.
Knowing that the longest orbit that has been discovered so far takes 900,000 Earth years to complete.
The largest number of exoplanets falls into a category that is not even represented in our solar system, which are Neptune-like planets in that they are covered in gas, except that they are smaller than Neptune and larger than Earth.
Also, some of these planets are somewhat similar to Earth, but their radius is twice the diameter of the Earth, and we do not have anything like this in our solar system either, and one of the planets known as the “giant Earth” has a mass of 8 times the mass of the Earth.
Most exoplanets also lie in orbits much shorter than Earth's orbit around the sun, and more than half of these planets have orbits that travel in less than 20 days.
Most exoplanets orbit single stars like the Sun (Shutterstock)
Scientists have also found that most of the exoplanets orbit single stars like the Sun, but 10% are found in multi-star systems.
One of those planets is called Kepler-16b, and it orbits two stars.
In another planetary system called TRAPPIST-1, there are 7 planets the size of Earth and they are relatively close to each other, so that if you could stand on the surface of one of them, you might see the other 6 planets on the horizon.
On the other hand, the results of a study conducted by astrophysicist Lauren Weiss of the University of Montreal found that the system of planets in our solar system is very different compared to the 909 exoplanets orbiting 355 stars in the Milky Way.
She found that those planets she surveyed tended to split into two patterns that the researchers did not expect. In other solar systems with many planets, the planets are more similar in size to each other, and the distances between the planets' orbits were more or less equal.
In contrast, if you look at a diagram of our solar system, you'll see that we have planets of all shapes and sizes and that the distances between orbits around the sun vary greatly.
The outer planets are unique and different from what is in the solar system (Shutterstock)
Is it possible to find a similar to our planet?
“Exoplanet science has a history of disappointing our expectations in terms of finding life-like or conditions to start with,” Jonty Horner, a planetary scientist from the University of Southern Queensland, tells ScienceAlert. “We have this implicit assumption that all exoplanet systems The planets will be like this, either very small rocky planets near the star or giant gas planets at a very great distance from their star.
Horner adds, "It is very difficult for us to find things like the solar system, as they are a little beyond us technologically at the present time and it is unlikely that we will be able to find Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars around a star like the sun."
How easy is it to find planets around other stars?
According to the "Science Behind Space" website, it depends on the method used to find planets, and seeing a planet orbiting the nearest star to Earth through direct imaging, that is, detecting the light reflected from it or the infrared radiation emitted. From him, it is not easy.
When it comes to trying to understand exoplanets, scientists compare what has already been discovered with our solar system (Shutterstock)
Our nearest neighbors are trillions of kilometers away, and they're all so massive and bright compared to any of the planets orbiting them, that it's hard to spot the planets. It's like trying to spot an insect with a searchlight.
But telescopes and the methods of processing the astronomical data they collect have become so advanced that they can do this and more.
Astronomers can also detect planets in ways other than direct imaging.
For example, they observe some of them through the vibrations that planets produce in the stars they orbit.
In addition, others are found due to a slight decrease in the light from stars when planets pass in front of them.
When a planet passes in front of a star, the star's light dims by a small but measurable amount.
Currently, when it comes to our understanding of exoplanets, scientists compare what has already been discovered with our own solar system.
But we still lack information about what has not been discovered, as there is a lot that we have not been able to see yet.
This is about to change, and in the future we may find that our small planetary system is not alone in the universe.