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Astronomers spy familiar planetary system

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11:26am, August 15, 2001

Studying a star in the Big Dipper, astronomers have for the first time found a planetary system that reminds them of home.

The planetary system–actually a pair of planets–orbits 47 Ursae Majoris, a sunlike star that lies just 51 light-years from Earth and is visible to the naked eye. Both planets, like most in our solar system, have nearly circular orbits. Moreover, the location and mass of the outer planet is similar to that of Jupiter in our solar system.

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