Thursday, October 6, 2016

We are (probably) not alone! First exoplanet discovered 1995

Artist's depiction of exoplanet 51 Pegasi b

October 6, 1995, European scientists Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz announced the discovery of a planet orbiting another star.  Planet 51 Pegasi b is about half the size of Jupiter and a "year" is just four Earth days.  And it orbits its sun 51 Pegasi at a distance of 0.05 AU (astronomical units) which is about 1/6 the distance between Mercury and our sun.  That means the surface temperature is around a sultry 2-3000 Kelvin.

In the 21 years since, over 1800 exoplanets have been discovered, including (perhaps) Tatooine, Vulcan and Krypton.

How to find Star 51 Pegasi

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