Share

News Release Archive:

News Release 46 of 213

May 24, 2010 02:00 PM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2010-17

Out of Whack Planetary System Offers Clues to a Disturbed Past

Back

Image: Upsilon Andromedae A System

Upsilon Andromedae A SystemSTScI-PRC2010-17a

Screen-use options: These files are created for viewing on your monitor

Print-use download options: These files are designed to fit on letter-size paper


ABOUT THIS IMAGE:

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.

Object Name: Upsilon Andromedae

Image Type: Illustration

Illustration Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)

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

NEWS RELEASE IMAGES

All images from this news release:

To access available information and downloadable versions of images in this news release, click on any of the images below: