Name: marc s willson
Date: 1993 - 1999
The students of the Science City Planetarium in KCMO would like to
learn more about galactic evolution. Are there any recent articles available via
Also we would like to learn more about Alexander Wolszczan's discovery of the
pulsar planetary system PSR1257+12. How far away is PSR1257+12 from our solar
system? Why can't we see this system with the use of the Hubble telescope? How
does radio astronomy detect "wobbles"?
Is it possible to see the imaged data collected from the radio sky?
Thank You from SCIENCE CITY / KC MUSEUM /
According to an article in the April 22 Washington Post, the pulsar is
located in the constellation Virgo at a distance of about 1200 light years. It
is only about 12 miles in diameter and emits essentially no light, so there is
no possibility of detecting it visually, even with the Hubble telescope. Pulsars are characterized
by the extreme regularity of the radio wave pulses they generate. Wolszczan and
his team detected slight irregularities in the timing of this pulsar's pulses;
they hypothesized that this was the result of a wobble in the pulsar due to grav itational
tugging by one or more nearby bodies. This hypothesis has received widespread
acceptance. You may wish to look at the article in the April 22 issue of the
journal Science for more information.
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Update: June 2012