Extrasolar planet

Extrasolar planet

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This image is part of the feature Infinite Worlds

Credit: LYNETTE COOK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Restrictions: NOT FOR USE IN POPULAR ASTRONOMY AND RELATED BOOKS FOR ADULTS

Caption: Extrasolar planet. Artwork of a hypothetical extrasolar planet surface from the Alpha Centauri system. The planet is rocky and barren. The main parent star Alpha Centauri A appears low on the horizon with its companion star, Alpha Centauri B, a smaller star adjacent to it. The Alpha Centauri binary star system is 4.4 light years away from the Sun. The strong gravitational pull exerted by the two stars would mean that they are unlikely to have extrasolar planets beyond 200 million miles from each star. The gravitational effects also prohibit the formation of gas giants and the movement of comets. However, any planets that do form could exist within a habitable zone for life.

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Keywords: alien, alien planet, alien planetary system, alien world, alpha centauri, alpha centauri a, alpha centauri b, alpha centauri system, artwork, astronomical, astronomy, binary stars, binary system, companion star, cosmology, earth-like, exoplanet, extrasolar planet, extraterrestrial, habitable zone, hill, illustration, landform, milky way, mountain, planet, rocky planet, science, space art, space exploration, star, sun-like, surface, terrain, terrestrial, twin stars

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