In this, the first proper episode of Syzygy, we’re talking planets: near, far ... and very, very far.
While the number of planets in our own solar system dropped from nine to eight (poor Pluto …), over the last few decades astronomers have found hundreds — no, thousands — of exoplanets: planets around other stars in our galaxy.
But we’re just getting started. In February 2018, researchers announced that they’d found a whole bunch of planets in a galaxy far, far away. How they did that, is a pretty amazing story.
Some of the things we talk about in this episode:
Geocentric models of the universe: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geocentric_model
Retrograde motion of planets & heliocentric models: earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/OrbitsHistory/
First exoplanet confirmed 1995: exoplanets.nasa.gov/resources/2084/
The transit method: www.planetary.org/explore/space-topics/exoplanets/transit-photometry.html
Kepler mission: kepler.nasa.gov
Exoplanets we know of: exoplanets.nasa.gov
Our location in the Milky Way: www.universetoday.com/65601/where-is-earth-in-the-milky-way/
Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers opening line: www.goodreads.com/quotes/54481-far-out-in-the-uncharted-backwaters-of-the-unfashionable-end
Extragalactic planets paper: iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/2041-8213/aaa5fb
Extragalactic planets news story: www.sciencealert.com/planets-found-in-another-galaxy-quasar-gravitational-microlensing
Gravitational Lensing: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_lens
Einstein and the solar eclipse: www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2017/07/04/how-a-solar-eclipse-first-proved-einstein-right/#6bda2738766a
Funhouse quasar image: phys.org/news/2018-02-astrophysicists-planets-extragalactic-galaxies-microlensing.html
Rogue planets: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogue_planet
Planet HIP13044b: www.space.com/9556-alien-planet-galaxy-discovered.html
Galactic Cannibalism: www.universetoday.com/89086/galactic-cannibalism/
Exoplanet in Andromeda: www.newscientist.com/article/dn17287-first-extragalactic-exoplanet-may-have-been-found/
Exoplanet microlensing a quasar: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extragalactic_planet#Twin_Quasar-related_planet