70 Virginis

70 Virginis

70 Virginis is a Sun-like star around which has been found a high-mass planet in a very eccentric orbit. The companion of 70 Virginis is the prototype for the eccentric Jovian class of exoplanets. Although this world may lie within the habitable zone of its host star – earning it the nickname "Goldilocks," since its orbital distance is "just right" – two other factors argue against the possibility of it harboring life. First, the planet moves in such an elongated orbit that it must experience severe seasonal variations in climate. Second, being so massive, it almost certainly has an immense, crushing atmosphere. It appears to be similar in nature to the companion of HD 114762.


Host star
distance 59.1 light-years (18.1 pc)
spectral type G2.5Va
temperature 5,500°C
luminosity (Sun = 1) 2.9
mass (Sun = 1) 1.10
apparent magnitude 4.98
position RA 13h 28m 25.8s , Dec +13° 46' 43.6"
other designations HD 117176, HR 5072, BD+14°2621, Gl 512.1, WDS 13284+1347A, SAO 100582


mass (Jupiter = 1) 7.49 ± 0.61
semimajor axis 0.48 AU (72 million km, 44.6 million mi)
orbital period 116.7 days
eccentricity 0.40
discovery 1996, Marcy, Butler, et al
method of discovery radial velocity



1. Marcy, G. W., and Butler, R. P. "A Planetary Companion to 70 Virginis," Astrophysical Journal Letters," 464, L147 (1996).