Spot naked-eye exoplanet host stars!
Want to see something new in the night sky? To date, more than 700 exoplanetary systems have been identified in our local sector of the Milky Way. Most of these exoplanetary systems are associated with faint telescopic objects, but we’ve put together a list of 62 host stars that are magnitude 6 or brighter and can be readily reconnoitered without any optical aid at all. Point out some of the stellar hosts out at your next star party, and wave hello – someone may be waving back.
A K-band (2.2microns) AO image of the HR 8799 planetary system in Pegasus, made using Gemini/Altair/NIRI and acquired on September 5, 2008 (North is up and East is left). The three planets are designated with red circles. HR8799 is third from the end in our list of naked-eye exoplanet host stars. See Appendix 1. Image Credit: Gemini Observatory/ NRC/ AURA/ Christian Marois, et al. Click on image for a larger view.
The Gemini twin Pollux tops our list of easily-visible host stars. This first-magnitude orange giant star has at least one planet, a ...