5 ROCKS AROUND A DIFFERENT SUN: 55 Cancri is the first solar system other than our own known to contain more than 4 orbiting planets. In fact, only a handful of other stars can be shown to have more than 2 planets. Astronomers estimate that the number of stars in the universe is written as 1 followed by 21 zeros. There are probably countless additional solar systems populated with several planets each, but finding them isn't easy because the stars are so far away from Earth. Astronomers have been searching seriously for over 20 years to find extra solar planets.
CONSTELLATIONS: 55 Cancri is a star within the constellation known as Cancer, which is the Latin word for crab. Like many constellations, its interpretation has differed between groups of people and throughout time. Some people have called it a beetle, crayfish, or lobster. It is one of the thirteen constellations grouped together as the Zodiac. In 1929 the International Astronomical Union developed boundaries for all constellations (they chose 88 official constellations) and permit each star to be a part of only one constellation.