51 Pegasi

An artist's impression of the planet 51 Pegasi B

51 Pegasi

In 1995 astronomers announced that they had discovered a planet, 51 Pegasi B, in orbit around its star, 51 Pegasi - the first exoplanet found orbiting a star similar to the Sun.

Measurements of the tiny wobbles the planet's gravitational interaction caused in 51 Pegasi's orbit confirmed its existence. It takes 51 Pegasi B only four days to orbit its star, and surface temperatures are thought to exceed 1,000C.

The first exoplanet was discovered orbiting a pulsar in 1992. Hundreds of exoplanets have been discovered since.

Image: An artist's impression of the planet 51 Pegasi B (credit: Dr Seth Shostak/SPL)

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An artist's impression of the planet 51 Pegasi B

Introduction

Astronomers find a planet orbiting a star similar to the Sun.

About 51 Pegasi

51 Pegasi (abbreviated 51 Peg) is a Sun-like star located 50.9 light-years (15.6 parsecs) from Earth in the constellation Pegasus. It was the first extrasolar Sun-like star found to have a planet orbiting it.

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