Discovering exoplanets: the role of Italian astronomers

Pubblicato su Science on the Net

The United Federation of Planets was founded in 2161 by the following members: Andoria, Earth, Tellar Prime, Vulcan. In 2373, the United Federation of Planets consisted of at least 150 member planets, spread over 8000 light years.

Of course, the interplanetary federal republic of Star Trek is only a fictional invention, but presently, almost every day the discovery of some new extrasolar planets is announced. On 22nd October 2013, according to theThe Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia, the 1000th extrasolar planet was officially discovered. At 13th November 2013, 1040 planets, 788 planetary systems and 173 multiple planet systems were known. The first terrestrial-mass planets ever detected, in 1992, are orbiting around the pulsar PSR 1257+12. In 1995,Michel Mayor andDidier Queloz of theUniversity of Geneva announced the first detection of an exoplanet orbiting an ordinary main-sequence star (51 Pegasi). As reported by John Matsonon Scientific American, it is actually impossible to pinpoint exactly the 1000th exoplanet because the catalogue established in February 1995 byJean Schneider is inclusive by design, boasting a significantly larger count than some similar lists. However, this is an important symbolic goal for the search for extrasolar planets.

(Continua su Science on the Net)

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