51 Pegasi: A New Planet Discovered
Date: 1 Oct 1995
Are we alone in the Universe? Do other stars have planets too?
Humanity took one step closer to answering these questions in October 1995 when it was announced that the star 51 Pegasi harbors at least one planet. In the above picture of 51 Peg the planet is not visible -- it can only be detected by noticing small changes in the star's motion. The planet, discovered by Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz, is thought to be like Jupiter -- except orbiting so close to the parent star that it's year lasts only about 4 days! In the above picture the lines centered on 51 Peg are caused by the telescope itself and are not related to the star or planet.
Last Update: 9 Jun 2011 (AMB)
Credit: The Royal Observatory Edinburgh