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planet hunting

Take a wild guess as to when the first planet outside our solar system was discovered. Think of a year, then go to the comments section below to find the answer.

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skewsparxMatt MaldreErik Maldre Recent comment authors

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Matt Maldre
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1992, eh. I guessed 1932.

sparx
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I guessed 1937.. figured I’d be way late, not early.

skew
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skew

Right, it’s pretty recent. I believe the reason for that has something to do with a new advance in how to detect extrasolar planets. The planets are too small/far away to be “seen” but astronomers can detect wobbles in the orbits of their suns. This wobble indicates a disturbance in the gravitational force of the sun, which means something is pulling at it, namely one or more planets. Usually these planets are big gas giants that have enough g-force of their own to impact their sun’s orbit enough for our technology to detect. This is all off the top of… Read more »