This is a drawing of where the 3 planets (red dots) would orbit around Upsilon Andromedae. The dashed lines represent where the orbits of Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars would be if they orbited around the Upsilon Andromedae star.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of the San Francisco State University Planet Search home page
New Planets Discovered around the Star Upsilon Andromedae
News story originally written on May 5, 1999
The rush is on; the newest real estate in the universe
has been discovered
orbiting the star
Upsilon Andromedae, so get your claims in now!
Unfortunately, you might have a bit of trouble getting anything to grow or survive on these gas giant planets.
Recently two groups of astronomers working independently, from Lick
Observatory near San Jose, California, and the Havard Smithsonian Center for
Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, found evidence that there are at least three planets orbiting the star. The discovery is the first multi-planet
system around a normal star, other than our own, and came from close
analysis of eleven years of telescope observations.
The closest and smallest planet was discovered three years ago, and is in
an orbit closer than Mercury's would be. Both of the outer planets are on very
elliptical orbits, common to other extrasolar planets discovered. The
middle planet is estimated to be twice the size of Jupiter, and the
outermost planet is at least four times Jupiter's mass. James P. Wright,
head of special programs in astronomy at NSF's Division of Astronomical
sciences said, "these planets are giants." He was also impressed that the
results were independently drawn up by the teams.
These findings show that planetary systems might be common in the universe,
and raises the possibility that life might have developed in other places than on Earth.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, as well as books
on science education!
You might also be interested in:
It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more
The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center at 2:19 p.m. EST, October 29th. The sky was clear and the weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit for the Unitied...more
A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more
Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials are demanding an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting...more
During a period of about two days in early May, 1998, the ACE spacecraft was immersed in plasma associated with a coronal mass ejection (CME). The SWICS instrument on ACE, which determines unambiguously...more
J.S. Maini of the Canadian Forest Service has referred to forests as the "heart and lungs of the world." Forests reduce soil erosion, maintain water quality, contribute to atmospheric humidity and cloud...more
In late April through mid-May 2002, all five naked-eye planets are visible simultaneously in the night sky! This is includes Mercury which is generally very hard to see because of its proximity to the...more