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The 47 Ursae Majoris System
47 Ursae Majoris System Artwork
Two Jupiter-like planets orbit the star 47 Ursae Majoris. They have nearly the same mass ratio as our own Jupiter and Saturn and travel in nearly circular orbits at distances far beyond the distance that Mars orbits our Sun. At one time theorists suspected that low mass, Earth-like planets might exist around 47 Ursae Majoris in its habitable zone. More recent study casts doubt on such a possibility. This view is from an imagined satellite of the outermost planet. Two other planets are shown also: the confirmed inner planet and an imagined (but undetected) pale blue dot close to the star—a possible "water world."
Astronomy Picture of the Day on August 17, 2001


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