Follow this link to skip to                                      the main content


Text Size

Scientists Discover Record Fifth Planet Orbiting Nearby Star
Media Telecon: November 6, 2007, 1 p.m. EST (10 a.m. PDT)

Astronomers will announce new findings about a planetary system similar to our own at today's telecon.
+ View release

Toll free number: 1-800-593-1179 | International toll number: 210-795-9369
Passcode: exoplanet

An instant replay of the telecon is available until midnight Nov. 13:
Toll free: 800-294-0358
International toll number: 402-220-9749
Passcode: exoplanet

Live audio of the teleconference will be streamed at:

Participants (+ Bios page)
Zlatan Tsvetanov, program scientist, NASA Headquarters, Washington
Debra Fischer, astronomer, San Francisco State University
Geoff Marcy, astronomer, University of California, Berkeley
Jonathan Lunine, planetary scientist, University of Arizona, Tucson

Media contacts:
Diane Banegas, National Science Foundation, 703-292-4489,
Grey Hautaluoma, NASA Headquarters, Washington, 202-358-0668,
Denize Springer, San Francisco State Univ., 415-405-3803,
Bob Sanders, University of California, Berkeley, 510-643-6998,
Lori Stiles, University of Arizona, 520-626-4402,
DC Agle, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., 818-393-9011,


1. Animation Part 1: Journey to a Star Rich with Planets
4 scenes from the exoplanet animation
In the first part of an artist's animation, we take a journey from Earth's surface to the newest member of the 55 Cancri planetary system.
Video download (Quicktime): + Small (7.7Mb) | + Large (40Mb) | + Streaming
+ Full caption
+ Larger view

2. Fifty-five Cancri in the Night Sky
55 Cancri
This wide-angle photograph of the night sky shows the location of 55 Cancri, a star where astronomers have found a record-breaking five planets.
+ Higher resolution (713Kb) | + Higher resolution - no labels (807Kb)
+ Full caption

3. Lick Observatory
Lick Observatory
The Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton east of San Jose, Calif.
+ Larger view (51Kb)
+ Full caption

4. Keck Observatory
Keck Observatory
The W.M. Keck Observatory atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii.
+ High-resolution JPEG (1.3Mb)
+ Full caption
5. Telltale Tug of a Planet
artist concept explaining wobble technique
This artist's illustration demonstrates the "wobble," or radial velocity, technique for finding planets.
+ Larger view
+ Full caption

6. Wave of a Planet
data graph of new planet
This plot tells astronomers that a fifth planet is in orbit around the star 55 Cancri, making the star the record-holder for hosting the most known exoplanets.
+ Higher resolution (203Kb)
+ Full caption

7. Animation Part 2: Journey to a Star Rich with Planets
Slides from the second part of the animation
In the second part of the artist's animation, we fly out to see 55 Cancri's habitable zone (green) and the orbits of its planets compared to our own.
Video download (Quicktime): + Small (3.5Mb) | + Large (7Mb) | + Streaming
+ Full caption

8. Our Solar System's Cousin?
comparison of 55 Cancri system (top) and our solar system
This artist's concept illustrates two planetary systems - 55 Cancri (top) and our own.
+ Higher resolution (72Kb)
+ Full caption

9. Plentiful Planetary System artist concept of exoplanet
This artist's concept shows four of the five planets that orbit 55 Cancri, a star much like our own.
+ Higher resolution (251Kb)
+ Full caption

Broadcast Quality Video and Audio

Full animation video download (Quicktime):
+ Small (9.3Mb) | + Large (47Mb) | + Streaming
+ Full caption

+ Sound bites (in audio and video formats)