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New 3 Planet Solar System Discovered
New 3 Planet Solar System Discovered
18 May 2006
(Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Scientists have discovered a new small solar system within the constellation Puppis. The new solar system is centered around the star HD69830, which is approximately 40 light-years from Earth.

The solar system around HD69830, is composed of two inner rocky planets, one gaseous planet the size of Neptune, and an outer dense asteroid belt. The gaseous planet resides in the "habitable zone" of HD69930. The habitable zone in our solar system is where conditions of temperature and light have made life possible on Earth.

The planets were discovered with a powerful new instrument called the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS), at the European Southern Observatory in Chile's Atacama desert. The asteroid belt had been detected earlier by NASA's Spitzer space telescope.

The article is published in the Nature journal.

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Last Updated: 18 May 2006