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PSR B1257+12 b (ex PSR B1257+12 A) is an exoplanet (or extrasolar planet) approximately 980 light-years away in the constellation of Virgo. The planet is the innermost object orbiting the pulsar PSR B1257+12, i.e. a pulsar planet in the dead stellar system. It is about twice as massive as the Moon, and is listed as the least massive planet known, including among the planets in the Solar System.
The planets of PSR B1257+12 are designated from A to D (ordered by increasing distance). The reason that these planets are not named the same as other extrasolar planets is mainly because of time. Being the first extrasolar planets discovered, and being discovered around a pulsar, the planets were given the uppercase letters "B" and "C" (like other planets). When a third planet was discovered around the system (in a closer orbit than the other two), the name "A" was commonly used. The extrasolar planet name 51 Pegasi b (the first planet found around a Sun-like star), was the idea used for naming planets. Although these pulsar planets were not officially renamed, some have done it themselves. PSR B1257+12 A is catalogued as "PSR 1257+12 b" on The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia. Template:See
- Wolszczan, A. (1994). "Confirmation of Earth Mass Planets Orbiting the Millisecond Pulsar PSR B1257+12" (pdf). Science 264 (5158): 538–542. DOI:10.1126/science.264.5158.538.