Artwork of Methuselah, the Genesis Planet

Artwork of Methuselah, the Genesis Planet

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Credit: MARK GARLICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Artwork of PSR B1620-26b, also known as Methuselah or the Genesis Planet. Some 12, 400 light-years away in Scorpius lies the exoplanet dubbed Methuselah, a gas giant 2.5 times the mass of Jupiter. It is named for its extreme age of 12.7 billion years, after the oldest person in the Bible. Methuselah is the first circumbinary planet ever discovered - that is, it orbits not one, but two, stars, as if they were one, at a distance of 23 astronomical units. The two stars are PSR B1620-26 A (a pulsar) and a white dwarf (WD B1620-26). It is also the first planet ever found in a globular cluster.

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Keywords: ancient, art, artwork, astronomical, astronomy, binary, circumbinary, cluster, exoplanet, extrasolar planet, gas giant, genesis, globular, methuselah, neutron star, old, oldest, orbit, planet, pulsar, scorpius, star, white dwarf

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