Fifth Planet Orbiting Nearby Star

Posted by Michael Pinto on Nov 6, 2007 in Science |

This artist's concept shows four of the five planets that orbit 55 Cancri, a star much like our own. The most recently discovered planet, and the fourth out from the star, looms large in the foreground. It is at least 45 times the mass of Earth, or half the mass of Saturn, and it orbits the star every 260 days. The system's three known inner planets can be seen in the background around the glowing star, while its most distant planet is not pictured. Fifty-five Cancri has produced a larger number of massive planets than our solar system. The colors of the planets in this illustration were chosen to resemble those of our own solar system. Astronomers do not know what the planets look like. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

You know more and more I wonder if within my lifetime we’ll see the discovery of Earthlike planets:

Scientists Discover Record Fifth Planet Orbiting Nearby Star

“Astronomers have announced the discovery of a fifth planet circling 55 Cancri, a star beyond our solar system. The star now holds the record for number of confirmed extrasolar planets orbiting in a planetary system.

55 Cancri is located 41 light-years away in the constellation Cancer and has nearly the same mass and age as our sun. It is easily visible with binoculars. Researchers discovered the fifth planet using the Doppler technique, in which a planet’s gravitational tug is detected by the wobble it produces in the parent star. NASA and the National Science Foundation funded the research.”





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