Confirmation of Earth-mass planets orbiting the millisecond pulsar PSR B1257+12

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Abstract

The discovery of two Earth-mass planets orbiting an old (∼10 9 years), rapidly spinning neutron star, the 6.2-millisecond radio pulsar PSR B1257+12, was announced in early 1992. It was soon pointed out that the approximately 3:2 ratio of the planets' orbital periods should lead to accurately predictable and possibly measurable gravitational perturbations of their orbits. The unambiguous detection of this effect, after 3 years of systematic timing observations of PSR B1257+12 with the 305-meter Arecibo radiotelescope, as well as the discovery of another, moon-mass object in orbit around the pulsar, constitutes irrefutable evidence that the first planetary system around a star other than the sun has been identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)538-542
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume264
Issue number5158
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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