One of those inexplicable gas giants in an orbit approximating our mercury has recently been de-listed, due to a error being discovered in the original work.
When the 'wobble' technique was first used, it uncovered a lot of really counter intuitive stuff in regards to solar system formations.
We expected to see solar systems like ours, with dense rocky planets close to the star, and less dense gas giants further out. It's the way our solar system is arranged, and it squares with physics.
But, we started seeing these gas giants orbiting in places where they shouldn't be, according to our previous best guesses.
I've always thought this was more a reflection of the technique being new, and our methodology being suspect. Either it's error prone, or maybe because this technique might only be able to detect anomolous solar systems.
I haven't read a lot on this lately, but it seems to me as our methods get better refined, we're starting to detect solar systems that fit our best guess model.
But it's really too early to tell one way or another if we live in a typical or atypical solar system.
As good a place as any to mention that according to "Sky and Telescope", Venus and Mars are close together in the morning sky right now and should be a nice sight.
I can't say from my own experience. It's been too durned cloudy that last while. I was just out though, and Orion and Canis Major are polished under a clear cold sky. A good time to aquaint your kids with these constelations and their constituent stars.
[ January 08, 2003: Message edited by: T. Paine ]