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Planetary system discovered

The lead of the New York Times’ article on the discovery of a planetary system reads, “They say there is no place like home, but it is beginning to look as if there is a place sort of like home 41 light-years from here in the constellation Cancer.?
Astronomers said Tuesday that there were at least five planets circling a star there, where only four had been known before. This makes it the most extensive planetary system previously found outside our own, and it also makes it the one that most resembles our solar system, with a giant planet orbiting far out from the star and four smaller ones circling closer.
While the planet is located in the so-called habitable zone where it is warm enough for liquid water, with 45 times the mass of Earth, the planet would more closely resemble Neptune or Saturn rather than Earth. These planets are known to have uninhabitable environments.
The team of astronomers, which reported its results in a telephone news conference from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said the discovery created hope that with time and more data, astronomers could find places out there that look like home. They also said it marked the start of a transition between studying planets and studying planetary systems.

New York Times: