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Extrasolar planets: More like home

12:49pm, November 9, 2001

A trove of newly discovered planets orbiting other stars suggests that our solar system may not be the oddball it had begun to seem. Among eight newly identified extrasolar planets, three have large, circular orbits that resemble those of the planets in the solar system. One of the planets is at least 80 percent as massive as Jupiter and orbits the star HD 4208. If it were part of our solar system, it would be about as far from the sun as Mars is. Two other planets, each with a minimum mass 2.8 times that of Jupiter, circle the star HD 23079.

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