M. KORNMESSER / EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY M. KORNMESSER / EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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HD 85512 b planet and star, artwork. This planet orbits the Sun-like star HD 85512 (top), which is 36 light years from Earth in the constellation of Vela. This planet is one of sixteen super-Earths discovered by the HARPS (High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher) instrument on the 3.6-metre telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile. It is about 3.6 times the mass of the Earth, and at a distance from its star of about a quarter the Earth-Sun distance, is on the edge of its star's habitable zone. When the discovery was announced in August 2011, this planet was one of the best candidates for a habitable extrasolar planet.
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