What's so exciting about the new planet around 55 Cancri?
I read a recent article on a newly discovered planet in the 55 Cancri system.It said something about it is possible it could be an earth twin because of its orbit in that solar system. Is it possible? Has anyone else heard anything else about it? If so please don't leave me in the dark.
The discovery of the second planet around 55 Cancri has indeed excited Astronomers. This is not because they have discovered an Earth-like planet - that is not yet possible with currently used technology, but because of similarities the system has with our own.
55 Cancri was already know to have a planet orbiting it. This planet is a gas giant slightly smaller than Jupiter which orbits very close to the star (making it a "hot Jupiter" as discussed on our webpage on extrasolar planets).
The new planet is about 5 times the mass of Jupiter and has an orbit about 5 times bigger than the first star. The reason that this excited Astronomers is that it means that the planetary system around 55 Cancri has similar proportions to our own.
Theoretical calculations have shown that an Earth-like planet could survive in a orbit between the two giants, although (as I said above) we are not capable of detecting that (if it is there) yet.
Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:
- Podcast? Subscribe? Tell me about the Ask an Astronomer Podcast
- Subscribe to our Podcast | Listen to our current Episode
- Cool! But I can't now. Send me a quick reminder now for later.
How to ask a question:
If you have a follow-up question concerning the above subject, submit it here. If you have a question about another area of astronomy, find the topic you're interested in from the archive on our site menu, or go here for help.Table 'curious.Referrers' doesn't existTable 'curious.Referrers' doesn't exist
This page has been accessed 24986 times since July 5, 2002.
Last modified: October 8, 2002 8:16:42 PM
Ask an Astronomer is hosted by the Astronomy Department at Cornell University and is produced with PHP and MySQL.
Warning: Your browser is misbehaving! This page might look ugly. (Details)