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HD 102956 is a yellow star, about four times as massive as the Sun and more than 400 light years from the Solar System. The star is in Ursa Major, falling within the quadrangle of stars that make up the 'share' of the Plough (or the 'bowl' of the Big Dipper) though its visual magnitude of just +7.86 means that it is far too faint to be visible to the naked eye

Orbiting this star is a gas giant planet designated HD 102956 b, the only known planet in this system. This giant planet is similar in many ways to Jupiter - its mass is almost identical - but where Jupiter follows a path far from the Sun, HD 102956 b whirls around its parent star in a very close orbit, at a distance about a tenth of that from the Sun to the Earth, which it completes in a period if less than seven days. This tight orbit means that the surface temperatures on the planet are immense, reaching in excess of 1,500 K and placing HD 102956 b in the class of planets known as 'hot Jupiters'


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