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.
    (AP, 7/11/03)
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.
    (AP, 5/27/11)

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.
    (AFP, 11/18/10)

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.
    (MC, 5/1/02)

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.
    (MC, 4/22/02)

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 quarks.
    (MC, 8/4/02)(SFC, 4/11/02, p.A2)

1497        Mar 9, Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), Polish astronomer, made the 1st recorded astronomical observation.
    (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.
    (V.D.-H.K.p.197)(, 12/4/08)

1596        Aug 3, David Fabricius discovered light variation of Mira (1st variable star).
    (SC, 8/3/02)

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.
    (SC, 3/4/02)

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 hemisphere.
    (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.
    (MC, 9/30/01)

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.
    (MC, 8/30/01)

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)(
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 California.
    (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.
    (MC, 12/30/01)

1934        Mar 8, Edwin Hubble photo showed as many galaxies as Milky Way has stars.
    (MC, 3/8/02)

1939        Sep 1, Physical Review published the 1st paper to deal with "black holes."
    (MC, 9/1/02)

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).
    (WUB, 1995, p.426)(

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.
    (MC, 1/2/02)

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.
    (AFP, 8/18/10)

1962        Frank Drake (b.1930), American astronomer, formulated a calculation, the Drake equation, for the likelihood of establishing contact with aliens.
    (Econ, 2/27/10, p.87)(

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.
    (MC, 6/12/02)

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, 4/30/01, p.A7)

1973        Carl Sagan authored "The Cosmic Connection."
    (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 1979.
    (Econ, 1/12/08, p.72)(

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 p.5)(

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.
    (SFC, 2/27/97, p.A6)(

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 light-years away.
    (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 with sodium.
    (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 from Earth.
    (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 Earth.
    (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 the star.
    (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)(

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 constellation Leo.
    (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.
    (AP, 8/15/02)

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 than months.
    (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 Institute.
    (AP, 7/4/03)

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 light-years away.
    (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 degrees.
    (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 distance.

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.
    (AP, 8/24/07)

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.
    (AFP, 10/31/07)

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.
    (AP, 4/3/08)

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.
    (AFP, 4/9/08)

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.
    (AFP, 5/24/10)

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.
    (AP, 3/7/09)

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.
    (AP, 5/27/11)

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.
    (AP, 7/21/10)
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.
    (SFC, 7/31/10, p.C4)(

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 discovered.
    (AP, 8/24/10)

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.
    (AFP, 1/12/11)

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’ habitable zones.
    (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."
    (AFP, 5/27/11)

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Subject = Space, Universe, (Planets by name)
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