Contact: Barbara K. Kennedy
Caption: Mysteries of one of the most fascinating nearby planetary systems have been solved, report authors of a scientific paper to be published by the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society in its early online edition on 22 April 2014. The study presents the first viable model for the planetary system orbiting one the first stars discovered to have planets. This illustration shows the orbital distances and relative sizes of the four innermost planets known to orbit the star 55 Cancri A (bottom) in comparison with planets in own inner Solar System (top). Both Jupiter and the Jupiter-mass planet 55 Cancri "d" are outside this picture, orbiting their host star with a distance of nearly 5 astronomical units (AU), where one AU is equal to the average distance between the Earth and the Sun.
Credit: Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, Penn State University
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Related news release: Mysteries of a nearby planetary system's dynamics now are solved