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Neptune-sized Planet Found Around a Baby Star 32 Light-years Away

26 Jun 2020, 15:29 UTC
Neptune-sized Planet Found Around a Baby Star 32 Light-years Away NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Astronomers using NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and data from the now-retired Spitzer Space Telescope  have announced the discovery of a Neptune-sized exoplanet orbiting AU Microscopii (AU Mic for short), a red M-dwarf star 31.93 light-years away and only about 20 to 30 million years old. The star is so young that it’s still surrounded by the protoplanetary disk of material within which planets form, and the planet, named AU Mic b, orbits so closely to the star that it completes an orbit every 8.46 Earth days (that’s a 203-hour-long year!)

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