File:Worlds of Q0957+561.png

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Worlds_of_Q0957+561.png (download)‎ (400 × 300 pixels, file size: 205 KB, MIME type: image/png)

This artist's reception shows a example of a Rodriguez-Class planet, a rocky with rings and with an atmosphere.

This painting is sopposed to be 'The Q0957+561 Planet' discovered accidentally when the quasar's image was gravitationally lensed by a galaxy which lies directly in the line of sight between it and our own world.

The possible earth sized planet in the foreground galaxy of Q0957+561 is the farthest of all detected extrasolar worlds. And because of the unusual method used to detect it, we know virtually nothing about this planet, and probably will not get another chance to find out.

The foreground galaxy splits the quasar's image into two lobes, labeled A and B. The properties of this gravitational lens is that if both lobes fluctuate in some way, then the fluctuation is occuring in the quazar. If the fluctuation occurs only in one of the lobes, however, the fluctuation is due to the forground galaxy.

What astronomers discovered was a minute fluctuation in the A lobe, but no corrosponding fluctuation in the B lobe. The fluctuation was consistant with what is expected if a planet in the foreground galaxy passed in front of the quazar. The magnitude and duration of the fluctuation indicates that the planet is only a few times the mass of the earth.

Unfortunately that's all we know. We have no idea if the planet orbits a star, what kind of star it may be, or what kind of an orbit the planet is in. All we know is the galaxy and the mass.

Given this near total lack of knowledge, we cannot even begin to speculate about this world.

Info

Credit: John Whatmough
Image Number: 012
Created: 1997
Available Resolution: 1024x768

File history

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current20:51, June 24, 2009Thumbnail for version as of 20:51, June 24, 2009400 × 300 (205 KB)Flutter (talk | contribs)This artist's reception show a Rodriguez-Class planet, a rocky with rings and with an atmosphere. This painting is sopposed to be 'The Q0957+561 Planet' discovered accidentally when the quasar's image was gravitationally lensed by

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