3 July 2003
Jupiter-like planet found around
**** EMBARGOED TO 2100 AEST THURSDAY 3 JULY ****
Astronomers using the Anglo-Australian Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory
in eastern Australia have found a planet like Jupiter in orbit round a nearby
star that is very like our own Sun.
Among the hundred-odd planetary systems found so far, this is the one most
similar to our Solar System.
The discovery will be announced today (Thursday, July 3rd 2003) by Hugh
Jones (Liverpool John Moores University) at a conference on "Extrasolar Planets:
Today and Tomorrow" in Paris, France.
The new planet, which has a mass about twice that of Jupiter, circles its
star (HD70642) about every six years. (Jupiter orbits the Sun in 11.9 years.)
The planet is 3.3 times further from its star than the Earth is from the
Sun: if the planet were in our Solar System it would lie about halfway between
Mars and Jupiter.
The planet’s orbit is nearly circular and there are no bigger planets closer
in to its star.
HD70642 lies in the constellation Puppis and is about 90 light-years away
Dr Chris Tinney
Anglo-Australian Planet Search WWW Page
Dr Brad Carter (lead author on paper announcing discovery)
University of Southern Queensland
IMAGES AND WEB ANIMATION
The Southern Cross in the sky - a guide to the location of the star. Credit: John Rowe.
The location of the star HD70642. Credit: John Rowe.
Artist's impression of the planet. Credit: John Rowe.
Animation of the planetary system. Credit: John Rowe.
Animation also available on tape.
Helen Sim - Public Relations and Media Liaison
PO Box 296
tel: +61 2 9372 4251 (bh), 0419-635-905 (mob)
fax: +61 2 9372 4444