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Name: Sheela
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Date: 1993 - 1999


Question:
Has anyone ever discovered a planet outside the solar system? If so, can you tell me about it? I am a fifth grader and am interested in astronomy. Thank you.


Replies:
Yes. I know of one discovery: a planet has been discovered around a pulsar (a rotating neutron star that emits regular pulses of radiation). No one has seen the planet but its existence has been inferred by studying the orbit of the pulsar and variation ( minute) in its pulses. The planet is very massive, even more massive than Jupiter. As the pulsar and planet orbit around each other, the pulsar approaches us and then recedes away from us. We observe regular changes in the frequency of pulses. This is roughly similar to the change in tone of a car horn as the car first approaches you and then recedes.

Jasjeet



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