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Aurora on extrasolar planet

Aurora on extrasolar planet

R650/0075

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Credit

JOHN FOSTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN FOSTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Pegasi B. Artwork of the planet 51 Pegasi B near its sun, the star 51 Pegasi (upper right). Concentric rings of aurorae can be seen around the planet's pole, with flashes of lightning scattered across its surface. The asteroid-like moon (lower right) in orbit around 51 Pegasi B has been heated to red-hot temperatures by the nearby sun. Pegasi is a Sun-like star some 42 light years from Earth. Pegasi B is about half as massive as Jupiter, and orbits only 7 million kilometres from the star, equivalent to 1/6th of Mercury's orbit around the Sun.

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