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Space Science

Nearby Star May Have More Planets Than Our Solar System 102

The Bad Astronomer writes "HD 10180 is a near-twin of the Sun about 130 light years away. It's known to have at least six planets orbiting it, but a new analysis of the data shows clear indications of three more, for a total of nine! This means HD 10180 has more planets than our solar system. And whether you think Pluto is a planet or not, all nine of these aliens worlds have masses larger than Earth's, putting them firmly in the 'planet' category."
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Nearby Star May Have More Planets Than Our Solar System

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  • Wow (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 06, 2012 @06:11PM (#39602515)

    Wowee wow WOW!

  • Re:mass? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chris Burke (6130) on Friday April 06, 2012 @07:51PM (#39603309) Homepage

    Arbitrary means that the line has been drawn at a certain point because... we decided to draw the line at that point.

    Well they didn't draw the line at a certain point because they didn't have to. The extant gap between bodies' orbit-clearing ability was already there and ridiculously huge. It's no more arbitrary than the distinction between the Americas and Eurasia. You might not be able to exactly where one begins and the other ends, but you don't have to because there's a gigantic gap where neither of them are.

    Complaining "Why did you pick exactly that point?" when no point was picked, the 5-order-of-magnitude gap makes such a thing unnecessary, is missing the point.

  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Friday April 06, 2012 @08:13PM (#39603475) Homepage

    When did 130 ly become nearby?

    As soon as the context became the stars.

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