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Artwork of planet Gliese 876b and star from a moon

Artwork of planet Gliese 876b and star from a moon

R650/0084

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Credit

LYNETTE COOK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LYNETTE COOK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Gliese 876b planet. Artwork of the extrasolar planet Gliese 876b partially eclipsing its parent star Gliese 876, seen from a rocky moon. Gliese 876 is a red dwarf star with a mass about a third that of our Sun. It lies around 15 light years away in the constellation Aquarius. The presence of the Jupiter-like planet was inferred in 1998 after observing the star's wobble as it moved through space, caused by the orbiting planet. Gliese 876b completes an orbit in just under 61 days, at an average distance of some 30 million kilometres. It has a mass around twice that of Jupiter. In 1999, Gliese 876 is still the closest star to the Sun to have a planet found around it.

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