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Astronomers Discover New Solar System

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WASHINGTON, DC, April 19 -- Scientists have discovered the first solar system outside our own, with three massive planets orbiting a Sun-like star. Astronomers from California, Arizona, Massachusetts and Australia have concluded that three giant gas planets are circling a bright star called Upsilon Andromedae in the constellation Andromeda. The new solar system is about 44 light years away from Earth.
The Andromedae trio features one planet about three-fourths the mass of Jupiter orbiting very close to its host star once every 4.6 days. The next planet, almost twice Jupiter's mass, orbits the star every 242 days at about the distance of Venus from the Sun. The third planet has approximately four times Jupiter's mass and orbits the star every 3.5 years at a distance about two and a half times Earth's distance from the Sun.
Apr 1999
energyNews & Features

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