PIA12015: A Planet as Big as its Star (Artist Concept)
Target Name: VB 10
Product Size: 3000 x 2400 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: California Institute of Technology
Full-Res TIFF: PIA12015.tif (21.6 MB)
Full-Res JPEG: PIA12015.jpg (416 kB)

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Original Caption Released with Image:

This artist's concept shows the smallest star known to host a planet. The planet, called VB 10b, was discovered using astrometry, a method in which the wobble induced by a planet on its star is measured precisely on the sky.

The dim, red star, called VB 10, is a so-called M-dwarf, located 20 light-years away in the constellation Aquila. It has only one-twelfth the mass, and one-tenth the size, of our sun. The planet is a gas giant similar in size to Jupiter but with six times the mass. Though the planet is less massive than its star, the two orbs would have a similar diameter.

VB 10b orbits its star about every 9 months at a distance of 50 million kilometers (30 million miles).

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Image Addition Date:
2009-05-28