The Most Interesting Extrasolar Planets
That changed with the discovery of the 51 Pegasi b, as a new branch of astronomy was soon established. More than 400 extrasolar planets have been found since then, 30 of them being found in a single month. Many of them were brown dwarves, and other similar failed stars which were composed out of gas. However, not all of them were such kind of planets, many of them being very interesting and fascinating.
The Methuselah extrasolar planet is the PSR B1620-26 b. This planet is 13 billion years old and it is the oldest extrasolar planet. The astrologists believe that the planet might be the oldest planet ever, given the fact that our Universe was created 13.7 billion year ago. It is believed that the planet was formed right after the Big Bang. The Epsilon Eridani is the closest extrasolar planet to our solar system. It can not be actually called a planet, because it is a system of planets. It is believed that one of the planets acts as a sun, and that there are two other planets which act as satellites. The planet is located 10 light years from the solar system.
Our conception about the planets is that all of them are orbiting the sun, and we often think that this is the only star system in the world. This conception is very faulty, as one in two stars in the sky belongs to multiple star systems. The multiple star systems are a group of stars which orbit around a common center of mass. The reason why we see them as a sole star is because the distance between them is very short. The 91 Aquarii system has the highest number of suns, as there are more than five stars present in it, and all of them are orbiting.
Gliese 876 b is the only gas giant which is present in a habitable zone. The habitable zone is a imaginary spherical shell which surrounds a star where conditions are optimal for liquid water to exist. The humans would not be able to survive there, but there are probabilities that various lives have developed in the area. No one was able to prove that life exists there, and it is very probable that they will not be able to do it in the immediate future. However, there is no reason not to believe that the area might contain various life forms.
The V391 Pegasi b is a surviving star, as it was found orbiting a white dwarf star. This type of star is a dead star, which means that at a certain point it was a red giant. A red giant star is a dying star, being close to becoming a white star. It is believed that the V391 Pegasi b lived at a certain moment inside the red star. It is believed that the Earth was a surviving planet, but the experts believe that it would not be able to survive in a red giant star because life on it would be destroyed.
The µ Arae c was the first extrasolar planet that resembled Earth in the sense that it is made out of ricks and not gases like in the case of many of the other planets. The discovery made the researchers believe that they might be able to find many other “Earth-like” extrasolar planets in the solar system. This planet is growing because since it is made out of rocky materials, it can attract other objects towards it. Since it is not made out of gas, it can not be destroyed by radiation from its sun, atmospheric escape, large asteroid impacts, or any other astronomical phenomena.
Gliese 436 b was discovered soon after the µ Arae c and it was different than all the other prior planets discovered. While many of them were made out of gas, and some of them were made out of rocky materials, the Gliese 436 b was made out of water which is the next most abundant compound in the universe. However it is very unlikely that the water located on the planet is actually water as we know it. The experts believe that the water is actually “hot ice”, or water which has been compressed into a hot solid state.
The Fomalhaut b and HR 8799 b, c, d were the first planets to be photographed. It is very difficult to photograph these planets because they move very fast and the view is obstructed by various elements. They managed to do it in 2008, using Earth-based telescopes at various observatories from Hawaii. The GJ 758 b was the farthest extrasolar planet to be imaged. Since it is located very far away, approximately the same distance between Neptune and the Sun, it receives and reflects a tiny fraction of its sun’s light. Observing Neptune can be very difficult, but observing a planet which is located 500 trillion kilometers or 300 trillion miles away in a different system seems to be impossible. The Hubble space telescope managed to do it in 2009, and it is said that next-generation telescopes will be introduced in the following year which will have the sole task of searching for planets located outside the solar system.
The Gliese 581 d has 7 to 14 times the mass of Earth, and because of that is considered a Super-Earth. The impressive thing about it is that its orbit is located inside the habitable zone and it also has a solid surface which means that water might be located on it. Because of this, the Gliese 581 d is the most earth-like exoplanets yet. The people believe that the Gliese 581 d might contain intelligent life form similar to ours.11