Upsilon Andromedae A system (artist's impression)

This is an artist's illustration of the Upsilon Andromedae A planetary system, where three Jupiter-type planets orbit the yellow-white star Upsilon Andromedae A. Astronomers have recently discovered that not all planets orbit this star in the same plane, as the major planets in our Solar System orbit the Sun. The orbits of two of the planets are inclined by 30 degrees with respect to each other. Such a strange orientation has never before been seen in any other planetary system. This surprising finding will impact theories of how planetary systems form and evolve, say researchers. It suggests that some violent events can happen to disrupt planets' orbits after a planetary system forms. The discovery was made by joint observations with the Hubble Space Telescope, the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, and other ground-based telescopes.


Illustration Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI).
Science Credit: NASA, ESA, and B. McArthur (The University of Texas at Austin, McDonald Observatory)

About the Image

NASA caption
Release date:24 May 2010, 20:00
Size:2375 x 2173 px

About the Object

Name:Upsilon Andromedae A
Type:Milky Way : Star : Circumstellar Material : Planetary System

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676.2 KB
Screensize JPEG
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