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Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO)

Barnard’s Star b: A Second Closest Neighbor in the Family of Exoplanets

21 Nov 2018, 06:13 UTC
Barnard’s Star b: A Second Closest Neighbor in the Family of Exoplanets
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Dr. Suman SatyalMore than 3800 exoplanets (planets that are outside our Solar System) have been discovered to date. This number is low compared to the known ~300 billion stars in our home galaxy – Milky Way, where each star has a probability of hosting one or more planets. Nevertheless, given the fact that the first exoplanet, 51 Pegasi b, was discovered only 23 years ago and the majority of the exoplanets were discovered in the past 10 years, this exponentially growing discovery rate is a great success. So, what triggered this discovery rate? Well, part of this is due to the advancement in the detection technology. The state-of-the-art ground-based and space-based telescopes have gotten bigger and better than ever. The humungous success of Kepler Space Telescope, which is now credited for the discovery of more than 2,600 exoplanets before being put to sleep after 9 years in service, has motivated the community for even more systematic searches. Recently, another space telescope called TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) was launched to search for exoplanets orbiting 200,000 brightest stars in the sky and has already discovered one planet and several other planetary candidates. In addition, here on the Earth, Mauna Kea in ...

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