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<-   The star 51 Pegasi   ->
Radial velocity variations of the star 51 Peg, showing a periodic movement resulting from the presence of a planet located at 0.05 AU, with a period of 4.7 days and with a mass of about half of Jupiter's mass. Observed at OHP.
Crédit : Paris Observatory / LESIA

In the nineties, a systematic follow-up of the radial velocity variations of bright stars similar to the Sun, aimed to discover double stars, revealed the existence of exoplanets, which are objects of very low mass in orbit around a star.

It is the star 51 Pegasi, which showed the first exoplanet in 1995 according to observations made at the Haute-Provence Observatory, by a French-Swiss team supervised by Michel Mayor.

From 1995 to 2004, we found more than 120 planets around more than 100 planetary systems. With the CoRoT satellite, we are trying to discover extrasolar planets with sizes similar to those of terrestrial planets in our solar system.