First Exoplanet: 51 Pegasi-b
When we raise our heads and look at the sky in a place where there is no light pollution, we see thousands of stars shining brightly. Considering that our Sun is also a star, it is easy to ask the following question: “Could these stars we see be the Suns of other planets far away?”
It is not known who and when this question was first asked. However, we had to wait a while for the question to be answered scientifically. Because the first scientific observations of the existence of planets orbiting another star were made in 1988. This star was a pulsar called PSR B1257+12, located 2,300 light-years away in the constellation Virgo. Four years later, in 1992, terrestrial planets orbiting this pulsar were detected, but the final confirmation of this detection would continue until 2012.
The first exoplanet orbiting a main-sequence star that burns hydrogen into helium, like our Sun, was discovered in 1995. The star named 51 Pegasi was located approximately 51 light years away from us, within the borders of the Winged Horse (Pegasus) Constellation. The exoplanet orbiting this star was named 51 Pegasi-b and belonged to the “Hot Jupiter” planet class, which is a Jupiter-like gas giant. Hot Jupiters are much hotter than Jupiter in our solar system because they are located very close to their star. We should also note that it takes only three days for 51 Pegasi-b to complete a complete rotation around its star. So one year on this exoplanet is equal to three days on our planet.
The first confirmation of the existence of exoplanets such as 51 Pegasi-b seemed to herald the discovery of hundreds more exoplanets in the future. As a matter of fact, as of November 29, 2018, there are 3,848 exoplanets with confirmed existence. There is more than one exoplanet in the systems that contain 642 of these exoplanets.
Among all the discovered exoplanets, there are of course Earth-like planets on which life is possible.
Kepler-22b exoplanet, which is approximately 2.4 times larger than Earth, discovered by the Kepler Space Telescope in 2011, Kepler-186f exoplanet, discovered in 2014, and Gliese 832c exoplanets, called “Super Earth”, are just a few of them.
Tallest Mountain in the Solar System
Olympus Mons is the highest known volcano and mountain in the Solar System. The mountain is located on the planet Mars at approximately 18.4°N 134°W / 18, -134. located in the coordinates. Compared to the world’s highest mountain, Everest, it is three times higher. The height of the mountain is 26 thousand 400 meters.
Mount Olympus is different in appearance from the mountains on Earth. For example, the top of this mountain is not sloped, but completely flat. This view reminds us of a plain with very gentle slopes. Steep slopes, which are one of the first things that come to mind when talking about a mountain, do not apply to this mountain. The slopes of this mountain are not steep. So much so that the slope of the slopes varies between 1 and 3 degrees.
This Week in Our Art Corner
Literary Moons of Uranus
The names of planets and moons usually come from Greek or Roman mythology, but the names of Uranus’ 27 moons belong to characters in the works of Shakespeare and Alexander Pope. The first two moons were discovered in 1787, but they were not named until 1852 (a year after two more moons were discovered). It was decided to name the moons by John Herschel, the son of British astronomer William Herschel, the discoverer of Uranus. Instead of naming the moons after Greek mythology, Herschel named them Oberon and Titania, after two fairies in William Shakespeare’s novel A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Ariel and Umbriel, after the mythological creatures in Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Curl. The tradition continued as new satellites appeared, the last five of which were discovered in 2003.
Other names given to the moons of Uranus and their origins are as follows:
The Rape of the Lock (Alexander Pope): Ariel, Umbriel, Belinda
William Shakespeare plays:
A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Titania, Oberon, Puck
The Tempest: Ariel, Miranda, Caliban, Sycorax, Prospero, Setebos, Stephano, Trinculo, Francisco, Ferdinand
King Lear: Cordelia
Taming of the Shrew: Bianca
Troilus and Cressida: Cressida
Romeo and Juliet: Juliet, Mab
Merchant of Venice: Portia
As You Like It: Rosalind
Much Ado About Nothing: Margaret
Winter’s Tale: Perdita
The Life of Timon of Athens: Cupid