Astronomical Unit

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Synonyms for Astronomical Unit

a unit of length used for distances within the solar system

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The latest discovery is of a third star in the system, which orbits the primary star from a distance of 28 astronomical units -- close enough to have influenced the hot Jupiter's development and final orbit.
All the objects beyond 150 astronomical units come closest to the sun, a point known as perihelion, at nearly the same time that they cross the plane of the solar system.
The Spitzer study focuses on binary stars that are a bit more snug, with separation distances between zero and 500 astronomical units.
Perhaps the most intriguing result --at least according to Paul Weissman (Planetary Science Institute), who was not involved in the study--is a new measurement of the approaching star Gliese 710, which puts its closest pass at just 16,000 astronomical units.
One of the factors that make the binary system unusual is the distance between the two stars that are separated by only 360 astronomical units (AU), which is extremely close for twin stars with planets orbiting them.
According to a NASA news release, "no object the size of Saturn or larger exists out to a distance of 10,000 astronomical units (AU), and no object larger than Jupiter exists out to 26,000 AU.
245], it's some 64 astronomical units (9 1/2 billion km) from the Sun, more than twice Neptune's distance.
The seeds generally weigh between 5 and 25 times the mass of the Sun, and each spans only a few thousand astronomical units (the average Earth-Sun distance).
The story noted that it will take 30,000 years for the two Voyager probes to pass through the Oort cloud, a huge sphere of ice chunks that extends as far as 100,000 astronomical units from the sun.
The companion orbits at a distance of 2,500 astronomical units, or about 374 billion kilometers, far enough that light takes a full 11 days to get between them.
Previous observations found that the disk extended from roughly 100 to 310 astronomical units.
Before, it had been thought a rule of thumb, that comets become active at a distance of approximately 3 astronomical units.
From end to end, the disk is roughly 400 astronomical units long--larger than the well-known ring surrounding the star Fomalhaut.
Observations with the Gemini Planet Imager confirm that the giant body that orbits a distant 650 astronomical units from the star HD 106906--more than 10 times Pluto's farthest point from the Sun--was probably flung there from closer in.
Since then, researchers have found more than a thousand bodies filling a doughnut-shaped belt, which extends 30 to about 50 astronomical units from the sun.