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ScienceDaily (Dec. 14, 2010) — A Qatar astronomer teamed with scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and other institutions to discover a new alien world. This "hot Jupiter," now named Qatar-1b, adds to the growing list of alien planets orbiting distant stars.
The newly-discovered alien world Qatar-1b orbits an orange type K star 550 light-years from Earth. Qatar-1b is a gas giant 20 percent larger than Jupiter in diameter and 10 percent more massive. It circles its star once every 1.4 days, meaning that its "year" is just 34 hours long. (Credit: David A. Aguilar (CfA))
For the second time in a week, astronomers yesterday announced the discovery of a Jupiter-like planet around a distant star, and they say this one could be part of a planetary system more similar to the Sun's than any yet discovered.
The discovery was described at a conference on extra-solar planets at the Carnegie Institution in Washington. The team was led by Dr. Michel Mayor of the University of Geneva, who was primarily responsible for the first extra-solar planet find in 1995.