What's up for January?

Text Size

What's up for January?
01.31.08
 
› View Vodcast
 
 
 

There's more to the stars than meets the eye. Some of these stars have planets orbiting them.

I'm Jane Houston Jones at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

The first planets discovered orbiting others stars other than our sun were discovered in 1995.

You won't be able to actually see planets, but what you can do is see the stars that have planets around them.

The professional astronomers don't actually see the planet either, they just see the effect of the planets orbiting the stars they're looking at.

One of these stars has been getting a lot of press lately and its name is 55 Cancri.

Cancri sounds like kind of a funny word but it's the way stars are named in the constellation of Cancer.

The constellation Cancer isn't a super-bright constellation, in fact it's sort of dim.

You'll certainly be able to see 55 Cancri easier with a telescope, but even with the unaided eye from a darker location, you should be able to pick out the star.

All of the stars we see in the night sky are all part of our own Milky Way Galaxy so this is just one of our neighbor stars.

There's three other stars that you can see in the night sky that all have a planet orbiting it.

These stars can be found in the constellations Ursa Major, which is also called the Big Dipper, Pegasus and Draco.

(Onscreen text)
Future NASA missions will be able to detect planets the size of Earth around other stars.
That's all for this month. I'm Jane Houston Jones.

› View Vodcast