Planet Found Orbiting Star

Gas giant is 45 times the size of Earth
By Laurel Jorgensen,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2007 10:28 PM CST
Planet Found Orbiting Star
This artist rendering released by NASA/JPL-Caltech, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2007, shows four of the five planets that orbit 55 Cancri, a star much like our own. The most recently discovered planet, and the fourth out from the star, looms large in the foreground. Astronomers said Tuesday they have discovered...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Astronomers have found a planet that’s at least 45 times the size of Earth orbiting a star 41 light years away, Space.com reports. The giant ball of gas is the fifth planet discovered around the star 55 Cancri. And while it's not a "twin of our solar system," it is the first outside our own to have five known planets.

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A team of astronomers has spent nearly 20 years researching the star and its planets.
The newly discovered planet is the fourth furthest from the star and about half the size of Saturn. “This work marks an exciting next step in the search for worlds like our own,” an astronomer at the National Science Foundation said. (Read more planet stories.)

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