“More curious and curious,” exclaimed Alice, lost in Wonderland, inhabited by a truly impressive array of eccentrics. His words can easily be supported by today’s planet hunters looking for planets beyond the sun – planets orbiting stars other than our sun – who have discovered an eerie array of other “eccentric balls” inside us.
Scientists have long been looking for planets orbiting stars beyond our Sun. In the 18th century, the possibility of the existence of extrasolar planets was mentioned by Sir Isaac Newton in the Common Cold Land ending with his Beginnings. Newton, comparing with the famous family of planets of the Sun, writes: “And if fixed stars are the centers of such systems, they will all be built in a similar pattern and obey the rule of the One.”
In the 20th century, ecstatic astronomers often claimed that they thought it was a planet outside our solar system. They then unfortunately observed, while other astronomers could not confirm their “discoveries.” However, in 1992, a lucky radio astronomy won the elusive jackpot and announced evidence confirming the existence of two extrasolar planets orbiting a small dense star corpse in the Milky Way.
Astronomer Dr. Alexander Wolszcyan of the University of Pennsylvania made this statement after observing the radio transmissions of a compact millisecond pulsar located about 1,300 light-years from Earth. A light year is the distance that light can travel in a vacuum in a year – 5,880,000,000,000 miles!
Known by the sweet name PSR B1257 q 12, the pulsar is a small dense inhabitant of the constellation Virgo. The pulsar is a sphere of 12 to 20 miles in diameter, in which the collapsed nucleus of a massive star, containing up to 1,000,000,000 tons of matter, is literally compressed to the size of a city on Earth. Pulsar is a rotating neutron star – the residual nucleus of a massive star that died in an impressive supernova explosion – and the density of these alien objects is 1,000,000 times greater than the density of water.
Later it turned out that PSR B1257 q 12 revolves around different planets – and these are real “weirdness”. It’s probably a rocky body like earth, but that’s where the similarities end. Pulsar planets, unlike the Earth, cannot have an atmosphere. These are extremely unpleasant worlds, mercilessly engulfed by deadly radiation.
The pulsar environment was almost the last place where astronomers expected to observe the planets. Such strangeness was to convince astronomers of the existence of many more “eccentric balls.”
And they did it! Although pulsar planets were the first discovered extrasolar planets, astronomers were still searching for the “holy grail” of planets orbiting the normal star of the “main sequence” (burning hydrogen) such as our Sun. The triumph came in 1995, when astronomers Dr. Michel Major and Dr. Didier Keloz of the Swiss Observatory in Geneva announced the first conclusive evidence of a planet outside our solar system orbiting a star similar to the Sun. However, the recently discovered extrasolar planet turned out to be a real “strange person” because it was as massive as Jupiter – the largest planet in our solar system – but orbited its star only a fraction of the distance between Mercury and the Sun. System. The sun. The star on which the roast planet is located is called 51 Pegasus, and the strange planet aptly named 51 Pegasi b. 51 Pegasi b was the first planet discovered outside the Sun, and belonged to a new class of objects called “hot Jupiters” – giant gas planets orbiting their mother stars. Until now, most of the planets found outside the solar panels were “hot Jupiters.” Indeed, most extrasolar planets have been discovered using the Doppler method (radiation speed), which promotes the discovery of giant planets orbiting quickly and close to their fiery parent stars. However, now, in addition to the method of ray velocity, other methods are used.
Since these first discoveries in the mid-1990s, astronomers have discovered planetary systems associated with our solar system, as well as smaller and smaller planets – planets the size of Uranus and Neptune in our own system. Planet hunters have now successfully spotted much smaller planets approaching our Earth. As the size decreased, astronomers expected to discover more and more earthly worlds. While this may indeed be the case in many cases, smaller worlds have proved to be as strange as most of the much larger extrasolar planets we have seen so far.
Super-Earths are quaint extrasolar planets unlike any other in our solar system. They are smaller than the four known giant planets orbiting our Sun – even Neptune, the smallest giant planet in our solar system. But Super-Earths are more massive than our Earth, and they can be stone, gas or both at once! The extrasolar planet 55 Cancri e has been discovered in the orbit of a star close to our Milky Way, and it is a very dark rocky world rich in carbon. In October 2012, astonished astronomers announced that at least a third of this “eccentric” mass consists of diamonds!
55 Cancri e has a radius about twice as large as our planet, and its mass is eight times greater. It orbits the star 55 Cancri, which is about 40 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cancer, close to the Sun. This “eccentric” world is one of five planets orbiting a star at breathtaking speed. 55 Cancri e flies around its star in just 18 hours, which is in stark contrast to the year of the Earth, which lasts 365 days! The planet is hot, with a debilitating temperature of 3900 degrees Fahrenheit. It is unlikely that such a hostile world is inhabited by fragile living creatures.