New Extrasolar Planet Spotted
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New Extrasolar Planet Spotted

September 16, 2008

A Canadian team of scientists have made an unprecedented discovery: an image of a planet outside of Earth's Solar System which appears to be circling a star like the sun.

The newly discovered planet lies about 500 light-years from Earth and has a mass of about eight times that of Jupiter. It is the first discovered to be orbiting a star rather than brown dwarfs, which are dim.

The star, appears to be similar to our Sun, but may be somewhat younger, experts said. Distance between the star and the planet is about 330 times the distance between the Earth and the Sun.

Three astronomers from the University of Toronto used the Gemini North telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii to take images of the young star 1RXS J160929.1-210524 and the planetary candidate.

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