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Cervantes (Mu Arae) is a 6th magnitude Sunlike star close to becoming a Sub-Giant located 50 ly with four known planets. At first believed to be a system dominated by orbit crossing eccentric Super Jupiters. Instead, three Jovians orbit in roughly circular orbits at Earth-like (Rocinante, d), Mars-like (Quixote, b, in habitable zone), and Jupiter-like (Sancho, e) distances in addition to an inner (Dulcinea, c) Hot Neptune. Planet c was one of three Hot Neptunes or Hot Super Earths discovered around the same time. It was the first one announced, but it was still under scientific review at the time, so there remains controversy on what the actual first planet discovered of this class is. Initially thought to likely to be rocky because it had 2 known neighboring gas giants which may have stunted its growth. The characteristics of the planets in this system changed greatly as new planets were discovered, and included a re-ordering of their designations. Initially, the first planet b was thought to be highly eccentric. An outer planet was then detected, at the time dubbed "c" (though a full period hadn't yet been observed), and was thought to have an extremely high eccentricity so that the orbits of the two planets would cross. An innermost third planet then dubbed "d" was then detected. A new fit for the data then emerged, and it was found that the outermost planet was actually much less eccentric, and that there was a planet interior to planet b with almost half its period. The eccentricity of b was also reduced so that no planet criss-crossed another's anymore. It was decided to redesignate the planets in order of characterizations instead of by discovery, so the innermost Neptunian planet was re-dubbed "c" and the planets just interior and exterior to planet "b" were re-dubbed "d" and "e". The system became the second known 4-planet system. The innermost two Jovians are close enough so that they're unstable over short periods of time. If they were actually in 1:2 resonance, which almost fits the data, they would be much more stable. One of the first 20 exoplanet systems allowed to be given common names by the IAU. Star is named after the author of Il Ingenioso Hildalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha and the planets after its characters, Quijote (main character), Dulcinea (love interest), Rocinante (horse), and Sancho (squire).

My Thoughts[]


It is in the "alter" constellation. Its first planet was discovered by an Anglo-Australian project.

Daikokuten - Japanese luck deities that us an altar.

Mu Arae System Web Pages[]

Mu Arae System In the News[]

First Planet Discovered (2001)[]

See also Epsilon Reticuli System

Second Planet Announced (Jun 2004)[]

See also HD 154857 System

First Neptunian Announced, Planet c (Aug 2004)[]

Articles Also Featuring 2 Other Neptunians[]

See also Gliese 436 System, Rho Cancri System

Controversy Over First Neptunian Discovered[]

Four Planet Solution (2006)[]

See also Rho Cancri System

Additional 3 and 4 Planet Solutions (2008)[]

One of the Top 20 Exoplanetary Systems First Up For Naming (May 2015)[]

Fun Links[]

See Also[]