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Eight extrasolar planets discovered
Posted: Mon, Oct 15, 2001, 7:35 PM ET (2335 GMT)
Extrasolar planet illustration (David Hardy) Astronomers announced Monday that they have discovered eight more planets orbiting other stars, including three whose orbits are similar to planets in our own solar system. The eight planets, discovered by an international team using telescopes in Australia, California, and Hawaii, have masses from 0.8 to 10 times that of Jupiter. They orbit their stars at distances ranging from 0.07 to 3 astronomical units (10 to 450 million km). Three of the planets have some similarities to planets in our own solar system, with masses of 1 to 3 Jupiter masses and near-circular orbits more than 1 AU from their stars. Those planets stand in stark comparison to many other extrasolar planets, which have been either far too massive, far too close to their stars, or in highly elliptical orbits. All eight planets were discovered indirectly using the radial velocity technique that has found the vast majority of the extrasolar planets found to date.
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