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Science in Brief

Largest known planet is found

August 11, 2007|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Scientists have discovered the universe's largest known planet, a giant ball made mostly of hydrogen that is 20 times larger than Earth and circling a star 1,400 light-years away in the constellation Hercules.

Scientists think the planet has 1.7 times the diameter of Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, and a temperature of 2,300 degrees.

"There is probably not a really firm surface anywhere on the planet. You would sink into it," said astronomer Georgi Mandushev of Lowell Observatory in Arizona, lead author of a report in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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