Planets beyond the Solar system
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13 Bil BP In 2003 scientists reported that the oldest
planet ever detected is nearly 13 billion years old and more than twice
the size of Jupiter, locked in orbit around a whirling pulsar and a
white dwarf located near the heart of a globular star cluster some
5,600 light-years from Earth in the constellation Scorpius.
13Bil BC In 2009 a gamma ray burst was spotted by a
NASA satellite that dated to this time. A typical burst "puts out in a
few seconds the same energy expended by the sun in its whole 10 billion
year life span." Researchers announced in 2011 that they have gathered
data placing the blast more than 13 billion light years away, meaning
that the event took place when the universe was still in its infancy.
9Bil BC - 6Bil BC The Helmi stream star group
remained after its mini-galaxy was devoured by the Milky Way during
this period. In 2010 a hot, gaseous and fast-spinning planet was found
orbiting a dying star of the Helmi stream on the edge of the Milky Way,
in the first such discovery of a planet from outside our galaxy.
400 Million BP Astronomers in 2002 identified a
binary black hole from this time that resulted from the collision of 2
galaxies and blended to form NGC6240.
(SFC, 11/25/02, p.A6)
135Mil BC In 2002 US Astronomers reported sighting a
supernova dubbed SN2002bj, reported to be 135 million light years away
and unique in that it died away in days rather than months.
(SFC, 11/6/09, p.A7)
5Mil BC - 3.5Mil BC The Westerlund 1 cluster of
superstars in the Milky Way, was formed during this period. The system,
located 16,000 light years away in the constellation of Ara, the Altar,
was discovered by a Swedish astronomer in 1961. It contained a
magnetar, a neutron star with a mighty magnetic field.
(AFP, 8/18/10)(Econ, 9/18/10, p.99)
135 Chinese astronomers recorded
what later became known as a supernova.
(SFC, 11/6/09, p.A7)
1006 May 1, A supernova was
observed by Chinese and Egyptians in constellation Lupus.
1054 Jul 4, Chinese and Arabian
observers first documented the massive supernova of the Crab Nebula
created thousands of years ago and consisting of a huge expanding cloud
of gas and dust 6,000 light-years from Earth. The great nova, as
Oriental astronomers described it, was six times brighter than Venus
and was only outshone by the sun and moon. For 23 days the nova could
be observed in broad daylight. An entry in the Records of the Royal
Observatory of Peking reads: "In the first year of the period Chihha,
the fifth moon, the day Chi-chou, a great star appeared approximately
several inches southeast of T’ien-Kuan (i.e. Zeta Tauri). After more
than a year it gradually became invisible." In 1999 the Chandra X-Ray
Telescope observed a ring around the heart of the Crab Nebula which
continued to generate energy of more than 100,000 suns.
(LSA., p.29)(TNG, p.96)(SCTS, p.183)(IB, Internet,
12/7/98)(SFC, 9/30/99, p.A7)
1056 Apr 22, Supernova Crab nebula
was last seen by the naked eye.
1181 Aug 4, A supernova was seen
in Cassiopeia. Chinese and Japanese astronomers observed a supernova.
The star 3C58 was later identified as the heart of the explosion in the
constellation Cassiopeia. In 2002 it was thought to be composed of
(MC, 8/4/02)(SFC, 4/11/02, p.A2)
1497 Mar 9, Nicolaus Copernicus
(1473-1543), Polish astronomer, made the 1st recorded astronomical
(WUD, 1994 p.322)(MC, 3/9/02)
1572 Nov 11, A supernova was
observed in constellation known as Cassiopeia. Tycho Brahe, Danish
astronomer, discovered a nova in the constellation of Cassiopeia. It is
described in detail in his book "De Nova Stella." The light eventually
became as bright as Venus and could be seen for two weeks in broad
daylight. After 16 months, it disappeared.
1596 Aug 3, David Fabricius
discovered light variation of Mira (1st variable star).
1604 Oct 9, "Kepler's Nova" was
1st sighted. Kepler saw the supernova on Oct 17.
1680 Light from the supernova of
the star Cassiopeia A reached Earth. A remnant was observed by the
Chandra X-ray Observatory in 1999.
(USAT, 8/27/99, p.14A)(Econ, 8/28/04, p.71)
1774 Mar 4, The 1st sighting of
the Orion nebula was made by William Herschel.
1783 Nebula NGC 2261 was
discovered by William Herschel.
1843 Apr, Eta Carinae, a star 120
times the size of the Sun and 8,000 light-years from Earth, briefly
became the 2nd-brightest star in the night sky of the southern
(NH, 10/1/04, p.72)
1868 In 2008 scientists, using
NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory, reported that a supernova took place
in the Milky Way about this time.
(SFC, 5/15/08, p.A3)
1880 Sep 30, Henry Draper took the
1st photograph of the Orion Nebula.
1838 Friedrich Bessel, director of
the Konigsberg Observatory, calculated the distance to star 61 Cygni
using parallax and magnitude.
(NH, 4/1/04, p.45)
1885 Aug 30, Some 13,000 meteors
were seen in 1 hour near Andromeda.
1916 Albert Einstein published his
book “Relativity: The Special and the General Theory,” in an effort to
make relativity understandable to the layman. His work predicted the
existence of pulsars, which were first discovered in 1967.
(ON, 6/07, p.4)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulsar)
1916 William Hubble (1889-1953),
American astronomer, published photographs of NGC 2261 and found the
nebula had changed size and shape over the previous 8 years. This work
led to his doctoral thesis: Photographic Investigations of Faint
Nebulae” and job offer to Mount Wilson Observatory in southern
(ON, 12/10, p.1)
1924 Nov 23, The New York Times
published news of Edwin Hubble’s discoveries of other galactic systems:
“Spiral Nebulae Are Stellar Systems: Dr. Hubbell Confirms That They Are
‘Island Universes’ Similar to Our Own.”
(ON, 12/10, p.3)
1924 Dec 30, Edwin Hubble
announced the existence of other galactic systems.
1934 Mar 8, Edwin Hubble photo
showed as many galaxies as Milky Way has stars.
1939 Sep 1, Physical Review
published the 1st paper to deal with "black holes."
1947 Cassiopeia A, the gaseous
remains of a supernova, was first detected as a radio source. It would
have visible from Earth in 1667, but no record from that time indicates
that it was noticed.
(Econ, 9/2/06, p.72)
1948 The steady-state theory of
the universe was first proposed by Hermann Bondi, Thomas Gold (d.2004)
and Fred Hoyle. The theory holds that the universe is expanding and
that matter is continuously being created to keep the mean density of
matter in space constant. Sir Fred Hoyle, English astronomer-author:
"There is a coherent plan in the universe, though I don't know what
it's a plan for."
(Wired, 2/98, p.174)(AP, 2/3/99)(Econ, 7/3/04, p.73)
1953 Sep 28, Edwin P. Hubble
(b.1889), astronomer, died at age 63. He discovered that the more
distant a galaxy seemed to be, the more its light was shifted toward
the lower frequencies. This is know as the Doppler redshift, named
after C.J. Doppler, an Austrian Physicist (1803-1853).
1959 Sep 19, Nature ran a paper by
Giuseppe Cocconi and Philip Morrison that said terrestrial
radiotelescopes were sensitive enough to detect radio signals from
other stars. This was later seen as the beginning of SETI, the Search
for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence.
(SFEM, 8/22/99, p.10)
1960 Jan 2, John Reynolds set the
age of solar system at 4,950,000,000 years.
1961 Westerlund 1, one of the
biggest cluster of superstars in the Milky Way, was discovered by a
Swedish astronomer and became a favored observation site in stellar
physics. It is located 16,000 light years away in the constellation of
Ara, the Altar. It contained a neutron star with a mighty magnetic
field. The stars were all born from a single event just three and a
half to five million years ago.
1962 Frank Drake (b.1930),
American astronomer, formulated a calculation, the Drake equation, for
the likelihood of establishing contact with aliens.
1963 Quasars, Quasi-Stellar Radio
Sources, powerful astrophysical sources of light, were first
discovered. Maarten Schmidt first observed the object called 3C273 and
found that it was racing away from Earth at 30,000 miles per second.
Prof. Jesse Greenstein (d.2002 at 93) and Maarten Schmidt led quasar
research and began to realize that quasars were the most distant
objects in the universe.
(SFC, 11/20/96, p.A9)(NH, 5/97, p.66)(PacDis, Summer
’97, p.32)(SFC, 10/26/02, p.A24)
1965 Jun 12, Big Bang theory of
creation of universe was supported by announcement of discovery of new
celestial bodied know as blue galaxies.
1972 Mar 2, Pioneer 10 was
launched from Cape Kennedy. It carried a plaque designed by Carl Sagan
and Frank Drake showing some details of human civilization on Earth.
The craft headed to Jupiter and then continued into deep space long
past expectations. In 2001 contact was re-established with the craft
7.29 billion miles distant and enroute toward the constellation Taurus.
(SFC, 3/4/96, p.A5)(SFEC, 9/28/97, p.A14)(SFC,
1973 Carl Sagan authored "The
(SFEM, 8/22/99, p.13)
1974 Feb 8, Fritz Zwicky (b.1898),
Swiss-US astronomer, died. In 1934 he and Walter Baade coined the term
"supernova" and hypothesized that they were the transition of normal
stars into neutron stars, as well as the origin of cosmic rays.
1975 Aug 29, Star in Cygnus went
nova becoming 4th brightest in sky.
1980 Sep 28, Carl Sagan's 13 part
"Cosmos" premiered on PBS.
1983 Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
won the Nobel Prize in Physic for his insight into black holes. In 2005
Arthur I. Miller authored “Empire of the Stars” a chronicle of the
search for proof of black holes.
(WSJ, 6/30/05, p.D8)
1987 Feb 24, Ian Shelton,
astronomer, found a new fierce light in the sky created by the titanic
explosion of a nearby star in the Large Magellanic Cloud, Supernova
1987A. This was the first time since 1604 that such an event could be
seen with the naked eye. It was the first supernova of the year. It is
located 170,000 light-years away.
(NG, 5/88, p.619-620)(NH, 10/1/04, p.30)
1987 Scientist using the Very
Large Array (VLA) found an object known as MG1131+0456, that showed an
oval structure. Additional observations of the object later that year
showed more detail and confirmed that it was an example of an Einstein
Ring, a phenomena that resulted from light bending in a gravitational
lens. Optical observers had discovered the first gravitational lens in
1988 The Supernova Cosmology
Project (SCP) formed.
(CW, Spring ‘99, p.6)
1989 Jan 18, Astronomers
discovered pulsar in remnants of Supernova 1987A (LMC).
1990 Feb 14, Space probe Voyager 1
took photographs of entire solar system.
1991 Alex Wolszczan and Dale Frail
at Pennsylvania State Univ. reported evidence of 3 extra-solar planets
(exoplanets) orbiting around the spinning remains of Pulsar B1257+12.
They found the pulsar in 1990 using the Arecibo radio telescope.
(SSFC, 9/30/01, Par
1992 Feb 19, Peter Collins of
Boulder, Colo., discovered Nova Cygni 1992.
1992 Oct 12, Arecibo radio
telescope in Puerto Rico began a microwave search for occupied planets.
1993 Mar 28, Francisco Garcia Diaz
discovered a type II supernova in M81 (NGC 3031).
1995 Oct, Swiss astronomers Michel
Mayor (b.1942) and Didier Queloz (b.1966) revealed that the spectrum of
light from the star 51 Pegosi shifts on a regular 4.23-day period and
concluded that the shifts were due to a nearby planet.
1995 The 47 Ursae Majoris system
with possible planets was discovered by Marcy and Butler.
(SSFC, 9/30/01, Par p.5)
1996 Sep 5, Astronomers using the
Hubble space telescope discovered a galaxy under construction. They say
18 gigantic star clusters were packed within a space just 2 million
light years across and apparently on the verge of forming a brand new
galaxy. Light from the event originated 11 billion years ago.
(SFC, 9/5/96, p.A3)
1997 Mar 11, Scientists from
observatories in Chile and Australia were to announce the discovery of
a star in the Southern Hemisphere constellation of Dorado that measured
some 370 times the size of the Sun. Stars of this size are believed to
be doomed to collapse and explode as supernovas.
(SFC, 3/11/97, p.A3)
1997 Apr 24, Scientists reported
the discovery of a giant, Jupiter-like planet in the constellation
Northern Crown. It appeared to be in a 40-day orbit around the star Rho
Coronae Borealis about 50 light-years away.
(SFC, 4/25/97, p.A11)
1997 Aug 6, It was reported that
MWC480 is a young star in the constellation Taurus, 450 Light years
distant, with a gas-rich disk that looked like a "construction zone"
for new planets.
(SFC, 8/7/97, p.A11)
1997 Dec 14, Astronomers detected
the brightest explosion ever detected in a galaxy 12 billion
(USAT, 5/7/98, p.1A)
1997 The number of known new
planets rose to 10.
(SSFC, 9/30/01, Par p.5)
1998 Jan 1, Scientists of the
Supernova Cosmology Project (SCP) reported in Nature that that apparent
fate of the universe is endless expansion.
(CW, Spring ‘99, p.6)
1998 Feb 27, The journal Science
reported that scientists suspected an unknown "repulsive force" to be
acting against gravity and speeding the expansion of the universe.
(SFC, 2/27/98, p.A5)
1998 May 2, It was reported that a
small galaxy was detected 12.3 Billion light-years away, 94% of the
distance back to the Big Bang.
(SFC, 5/2/98, p.A7)
1998 May 28, California astronomer
Susan Terebey announced she had photographed what may be a planet some
450 light years from Earth in the constellation Taurus. It appears to
have been ejected from the binary TMR-1 and was named TMR-1C.
(SFC, 5/29/98, p.A1,4)(AP, 5/28/99)
1998 Jun 8, In New Mexico the $77
million Sloan Digital Sky Survey was reported to be about to start
probing the universe.
(SFC, 6/9/98, p.A3)
1998 Jun 25, A planet, 1.9 times
bigger than Jupiter, was reported found to be circling the small
star Gliese 876, 15 light-years from Earth.
(SFC, 6/25/98, p.A5)
1998 Sep 23, Scientists reported
two more planets beyond our solar system. One in the constellation
Cygnus and the other in Aquarius.
(SFC, 9/24/98, p.A2)
1999 Apr 8, WR 104, a Wolf-Rayet
star, was identified 4,800 light-years away in the direction of the
constellation Sagittarius, and reported to be 3 times the size of our
Sun and 100,000 times brighter.
(SFC, 4/8/99, p.A2)
1999 Apr 15, It was reported that
astronomers, using the Hubble Space Telescope, detected a 13 Billion
year-old galaxy, dubbed "Sharon." It was the oldest and most distant
object yet detected.
(SFC, 4/15/99, p.A7)
1999 Apr 15, Astronomers announced
that 3 planets had been detected orbiting the star Upsilon Andromedae
some 44 light-years away.
(SFC, 4/16/99, p.A1,19)
1999 Nov 5, Astronomers detected a
gas planet near the star called HD 209458, near 51 Pegasi, 153
light-years away. In 2001 scientists said the atmosphere was loaded
(SFC, 11/13/99, p.A2)(SFC, 11/28/01, p.A2)
1999 Nov 29, Astronomer reported
finding 6 planets orbiting sunlike stars as close as 65 light years
(SFC, 11/30/99, p.A3)
2000 Mar 29, A planet was reported
orbiting HD 161141 every 3.02 days in the constellation Monoceros some
109 light years from Earth. Another planet was reported orbiting 79Ceti
every 75 days in the constellation Cetus some 117 light years from
(SFC, 3/30/00, p.A4)
2000 May 9, Eight more planet like
objects were reported bringing to 43 the number of planets reported
outside the solar system.
(SFC, 5/9/00, p.A4)
2000 Aug 5, It was reported that a
Jupiter-size planet circled Epsilon Eridani, a star 10 light years
away. A total of ten previously unknown planets were reported bringing
the total to about 50.
(SFC, 8/5/00, p.A7)(SFEC, 8/6/00, p.A5)
2000 A new planet was reported
orbiting the star HD 192263. HD referred to the Henry Draper catalogue,
named after a 19th century physician and amateur astronomer. In 2002 it
was reported that the planet was an illusion created by dark spots on
(SFC, 9/4/02, p.A7)
2000 The Sloan Digital Sky Survey
started work using its 2.5 meter telescope at Apache Point Observatory
in New Mexico.
(Econ, 2/27/10, SR p.3)(http://www.sdss.org/)
2001 Jan 9, It was reported that a
super cluster of quasars and galaxies was found that spread across 600
million light years. The system was 6.5 billion light years away in the
(SFC, 1/9/01, p.A4)
2001 Jan 9, Astronomers reported
the discovery of a giant object more than 17 times the size of Jupiter
in the constellation Serpens 123 light-years away.
(SFC, 1/10/01, p.A1)
2001 Aug 15, Astronomers announced
the discovery of the first solar system outside our own.
2001 Aug 16, It was reported that
a solar system similar to Earth’s was possible near 47 Ursae Majoris,
51 million light years away in the Big Dipper constellation.
(SFC, 8/16/01, p.A3)
2002 Apr 18, US Astronomers
reported sighting a supernova dubbed SN2002bj, reported to be 135
million light years away and unique in that it died away in days rather
(SFC, 11/6/09, p.A7)
2002 May 18, It was reported that
scientists had linked gamma ray bursts to supernovae.
(SFC, 5/17/02, p.A2)
2002 Jun 14, It was reported that
a Jupiter size planet was discovered in the Cancer constellation 5.5
astronomical units (an AU is the distance between the Earth and the
sun) from star 55 Cancri, 41 light-years away.
(SFC, 6/14/02, p.A3)
2002 Sep 17, Astronomers reported
evidence of 2 medium-weight black holes. One is at the center of M15,
32,000 light-years away in the constellation Pegasus. The other is 2.2
million light-years away in Andromeda galaxy.
(SFC, 9/18/02, p.A2)
2002 Oct 8, Astronomers reported a
frozen object beyond Pluto some 800 miles across. They named it Quaoar,
after a creation force in Southern California Indian mythology.
(ADN, 10/8/02, p.A4)
2002 David DeVorkin edited "Beyond
Earth: Mapping the Universe."
(SSFC, 3/29/02, p.M4)
2003 Mar 29, A gamma ray burst was
detected as a giant star exploded and collapsed into a black hole some
2 billion light years away in the direction of the constellation Leo.
(SFC, 4/28/03, A8)
2003 Jul 3, Astronomers said they
have found a Jupiter-like body circling a distant star, dubbed HD 70642
some 94 light years from Earth, in a planetary system like ours. The
finding was presented at a conference at the Paris Astrophysics
2003 Steven Strogatz authored
"Sync: The Emerging Science of Spontaneous Order," in which he argued
that the universe is an orderly place marked by harmony and cooperation.
(NW, 3/17/03, p.49)
2004 Feb 18, Scientists reported
that X-rays form galaxy RX J1242-11 indicated a black hole tearing
apart a star and gobbling up a share of its gaseous mass.
(SFC, 2/19/04, p.A9)
2004 Mar 2, It was reported that
French and Swiss astronomers had detected the most distant galaxy ever
observed, 13.23 billion light-years from Earth.
(WSJ, 3/2/04, p.A1)
2004 Mar 15, Scientists announced
the discovery of a new planetoid named Sedna. The frozen, shiny red
world is some 8 billion miles from Earth, the most distant known object
in the solar system. Some placed it in the outer periphery of a region
called the Oort Cloud.
(AP, 3/16/04)(SFC, 3/16/04, p.A1)
2004 Jul 21, Stephen Hawking
presented findings that contradicted his earlier work on black holes
and said black holes form an apparent horizon from which information
can eventually escape. This change lost him a 1977 bet with Dr.
Preskill of CalTech.
(Econ, 7/24/04, p.74)
2004 Aug 25, Astronomers reported
the discovery of a planet 14 times as massive as Earth near the star Mu
Arae which is 50 light years away.
(SFC, 8/26/04, p.A2)
2004 Aug 31, US astronomers
reported finding 2 planets orbiting distant stars. One was near 55
Cancri, 41 light-years away; the other was near Gliese 436, 33
(SFC, 9/1/04, p.A1)
2004 Sep 10, Scientists reported
evidence for a planet near a dwarf star some 230 light years from Earth
in the constellation Hydra.
(SFC, 9/11/04, p.A1)
2004 Scientists confirmed that the
universe is accelerating.
(SFC, 12/6/04, p.A4)
2004 Scientists using the
Trans-Atlantic Exoplanet Survey (TrES) discovered a distant planet the
size of Jupiter, 32 times further than the Sun. They named it TrES-1b.
(Econ, 2/19/05, p.77)
2004 Dec 27, A massive burst of
energy from a neutron star, SGR 1806-20, was detected in the
constellation Sagittarius. It was the equivalent of what the sun emits
every 150,000 years.
(SFC, 2/19/05, p.A2)
2005 Mar 22, Astronomers reported
a faint heat glow from giant planets circling distant stars.
(SFC, 3/23/05, p.A1)
2005 Jun 13, Scientists reported
the discovery of an Earthlike planet orbiting the star Gliese 876,
which is about 15 light-years from Earth. The planet was 2 million
miles from its star and surface temperatures were estimated at 400-700
(SFC, 6/14/05, p.A3)
2005 Jul 13, It was reported that
a triple-star system, HD 188753, is located 149 light-years away in the
constellation Cygnus. The primary star is like our Sun, weighing 1.06
solar masses. The other two stars form a tightly bound pair,
which is separated from the primary by approximately the Sun-Saturn
2005 Jul 29, Scientists reported
that a 10th planet, bigger than Pluto, is farthest-known object in the
solar system. It was currently 9 billion miles away from the sun, or
about three times Pluto's current distance from the Sun and orbited the
Sun once every 560 years. It was temporarily named 2003 UB313.
(AP, 7/30/05)(Econ, 8/6/05, p.64)
2006 Dec 22, The European
spacecraft COROT was launched in Kazakhstan. The satellite will use its
27-centimetre telescope to search for dips of light due to planets
passing in front of their parent stars in events called transits
(Econ, 6/2/07, p.86)
2007 Apr 6, Supernova SN2007bi was
first observed in a nearby dwarf galaxy. It burned steadily for months.
In 2009 scientists reported that the explosion was probably that of a
super massive star, at least two hundred times the mass of the Sun.
2007 Apr 24, European astronomers
announced they had found a potentially habitable planet outside the
solar system. They said the planet had Earth-like temperatures, a find
described as a big step in the search for "life in the universe." The
planet, named 581c, circled the red dwarf star, Gliese 581, relatively
nearby at 120 trillion miles away.
(AP, 4/24/07)(Econ, 4/28/07, p.93)
2007 Aug 23, University of
Minnesota astronomers announced that they have stumbled upon a
tremendous hole in the universe. The cosmic blank spot has no stray
stars, no galaxies, no sucking black holes, not even mysterious dark
matter. The 1 billion light years across of nothing represented an
expanse of nearly 6 billion trillion miles of emptiness.
2007 Oct 30, NASA said US
astronomers have discovered the biggest black hole orbiting a star 1.8
million light-years from Earth in the constellation Cassiopeia, with a
record-setting mass of 24 to 33 times that of our Sun.
2007 Nov 6, Astronomers said a new
planet has been discovered orbiting a sun-like star 41 light years away
in the galaxy called 55 Cancri, making it the first known planetary
quintet outside our solar system.
(AP, 11/7/07)(SFC, 11/7/07, p.A5)
2008 Apr 3, It was reported that
Nikolai Shaposhnikov and Lev Titarchuk had discovered a small black
hole in the Milky Way with the aid of NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing
Explorer satellite. They presented the findings earlier this week at an
American Astronomical Society conference. It was discovered alongside a
normal star in a binary system called XTE J1650-500, named for its
coordinates in the constellation Ara. The system was discovered in 2001.
2008 Apr 9, Spanish astronomers
announced the discovery of "GJ 436T," the smallest planet discovered to
date outside the solar system, located 30 light years from earth.
2008 The planet WASP-12b was
discovered in the Auriga Constellation, about 600 light-years from
Earth. It is more than 300 times the size of Earth. In 2010 the Hubble
space telescope discovered that the planet in our galaxy is in the
process of being devoured by the star that it orbits and could be
devoured over the next ten million years.
2009 Mar 6, NASA's planet-hunting
telescope, Kepler, rocketed into space on a historic voyage to track
down other Earths in a faraway patch of the Milky Way galaxy.
2009 Apr 21, Scientists attending
a conference in England said that a planet named Gliese 581 e, has been
located in a galaxy outside our solar system. The new planet is
probably too hot for human life because it sits very close to the
sun-like star it orbits. A 2nd planet, Gliese 581 d found in 2007, was
said to be in a zone habitable for potential life.
(AP, 4/21/09)(SFC, 4/22/09, p.A10)
2009 Apr, A gamma ray burst was
spotted by a NASA satellite. A typical burst "puts out in a few seconds
the same energy expended by the sun in its whole 10 billion year life
span." Researchers announced in 2011 that they have gathered data
placing the blast more than 13 billion light years away, meaning that
the event took place when the universe was still in its infancy.
2010 Jan 4, NASA scientists
reported that the new Kepler space telescope has discovered 5 fiery-hot
planets in the depths of the Milky Way, each far larger than Earth.
(SFC, 1/5/10, p.A5)
2010 Feb 16, William Gordon
(b.1918), American astronomer, died. He designed the Arecibo radio
telescope, completed in 1963, in Puerto Rico.
(Econ, 2/27/10, p.87)
2010 Jul 21, Scientists said a
huge ball of brightly burning gas in a neighboring galaxy may be the
heaviest star ever discovered, hundreds of times more massive than the
sun after working out its weight for the first time. The star, called
R136a1, was identified at the center of a star cluster in the Tarantula
Nebula, a sprawling cloud of gas and dust in the Large Magellanic
Cloud, a galaxy about 165,000 light-years away from our own Milky Way.
2010 Jul 21, Don Backer (66), UC
astronomer and pioneer in the use of the radio telescope, died in
Berkeley, Ca. In 1982 Don Backer led a group which discovered PSR
B1937+21, a pulsar with a rotation period of just 1.6 milliseconds.
2010 Aug 24, Scientists said
they've identified a sun-like star with as many as seven different
planets — including one that might be the smallest ever found outside
the solar system. If confirmed, the planetary system around HD 10180, a
star more than 100 light years distant, would be the richest ever
2010 Dec 1, The Journal Nature
published a research study that estimated the universe contains some
300 sextillion stars, 3 times more than previously calculated.
(SFC, 12/2/10, p.A16)
2010 Paul Davies authored “The
Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence.”
(Econ, 4/10/10, p.86)
2011 Jan 10, NASA said it has
spotted a tiny, rocky planet about the size of Earth doing a speedy
orbit of a star outside our solar system. Named Kepler-10b its
scorching temperatures are too hot for life.
2011 Feb 2, NASA scientists
reported that the Kepler spacecraft, launched in 2009, has found over
1,000 possible planets with at least 54 of them within their suns’
(SFC, 2/3/11, p.A1)
2011 May 27, It was reported that
A 22-year-old Australian university student has solved a problem which
has puzzled astrophysicists for decades, discovering part of the
so-called "missing mass" of the universe during her summer break.
Undergraduate Amelia Fraser-McKelvie made the breakthrough during a
holiday internship with a team at Monash University's School of
Physics, locating the mystery material within vast structures called
"filaments of galaxies."
Go to http://www.timelinesdb.com
Subject = Space, Universe, (Planets by name)
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