Pulsar Planets – theoretical and real

Greetings from Eurania.

In 1970, astro-physicist and former astronaut F. Curtis Michel published a paper hypothesizing an exoplanet orbiting the Crab Pulsar. Though only a hypothesis, such exoplanets were actually discovered in 1992 by Aleksander Wolszczan and Dale Frail, orbiting the pulsar PSR B1257+12.

This artist’s concept depicts the pulsar planet system discovered by Aleksander Wolszczan in 1992. Wolszczan used the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico to find three planets – the first of any kind ever found outside our solar system – circling a pulsar called PSR B1257+12. Here, the pulsar’s twisted magnetic fields are highlighted by the blue glow.
All three pulsar planets are shown in this picture; the farthest two from the pulsar (closest in this view) are about the size of Earth. Radiation from charged pulsar particles would probably rain down on the planets, causing their night skies to light up with auroras similar to our Northern Lights. One such aurora is illustrated on the planet at the bottom of the picture.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC).

While no such similar discoveries have been made within the Great Nebula of Eurania, many hypotheses suggest the possibility of the existence of the mythical Euranian home planet.


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