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Epsilon Eridani(Ɛ Eri) An orange-red main-sequence star located in the constellation Eridanus at a distance of 3.2 parsecs. It is a young star (about 500 million to a billion years old) and has between 75% and 85% of the Sun's mass and size but only 27% to 35% of its luminosity. In 1998, astronomers announced the detection of a cool dusty ring around the star, encircling it at a distance of between 35 and 75 AU. This is thought to be a belt of rocky and icy bodies equivalent to the Solar System's Edgworth–Kuiper Belt. In 2000, researchers announced the detection of a giant planet orbiting Epsilon Eridani at a mean distance of about 3.3 AU in an elliptical orbit (eccentricity: 0.6) with a period of 6.8 years. The planet is estimated to have a mass equal to about 1.2 times that of Jupiter. The existence of a second and smaller planet orbiting about 40 AU out from the star has been inferred from disturbances in the structure of the dust ring but remains unconfirmed. mv : 3.73; spectral type: K2 V.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006