Jeremiah Pellegren Essay

Professor Kirk Talib-Deen
English 102
9 July 2017
The Possibility of Life on Other Planets?
One of the most intriguing questions for mankind is knowing whether extraterrestrial life is existing outside our solar system. Our universe is constantly expanding and the possibilities of life on other planets are limitless. Edna DeVore and Alan Gould composed, “Chasing Shadows: Discovering Planets Around Distant Stars,” that signified the biggest challenge for humanity is the potential of discovering extraterrestrial life. I absolutely agree with this statement because we have yet to find extraterrestrial life. For example, astronomers have already begun to pursuit the search for exoplanets worldwide. Aleksander Wolszczan and Dale Frail came upon a multi-planet system around a millisecond pulsar, or spinning neutron stars around 1992.

Further down the road, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz declared the revelation of 51 Pegasi on October 6, 1995. “51 Pegasi was reported to be almost half the size of Jupiter” (Mayor & Queloz 358). The two Swiss astronomers also declared that “51-Peg” was initially the first “Hot Jupiter” discovery. Hot Jupiter, also identified as “roaster planets,” are Jupiter-size planets that orbit close to their stars within two to one hundred days with heated to elevated temperatures. It appears to be true because of Jupiter and Saturn, as they orbit near their parental stars (Figure 1). First and foremost, this breed of roaster planets was thought to be the most common type of exoplanet at one period. The spreading of velocity is textbook for smaller exoplanets equivalent to Earth but lose in the experimental clatter. Therefore, various sources to approach were vital for discovering the very first Earth-like exoplanet.

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A space telescope (Kepler) was proposed by Bill Borucki and David Koch, two NASA scientists from Ames Research Center to pursue for movements of exoplanets orbiting around isolated stars. NASA opted the Kepler spaceship for a mission after eight years of research and supplementary ideas, to answer the biggest question mark for humanity “How common or rare are planets like our own Earth?” Meanwhile, it remains to be unanswered as early development began in 2001 and the spaceship was eventually launched in March 09. As exoplanets transport into their stars, the space telescope hunts for its obscurity. Hereby granting astronomers to select many stars into their line of view. I agree because an abundant number of exoplanets were established from the Kepler telescope on July 23, 2015 (Figure 2).

Various detection methods were passed down for discovering a sufficient number of exoplanets in October 2016. Radial velocity, “or measurements of Doppler shifts observed in stellar spectra as stars and its planet orbit with their common center of mass” (Figure 1). The number of exoplanets discovered for that specific detection method was four hundred and ninety-eight planets, as Uranus was equivalent to its lower mass limit (Figure 1). Another example is transit photometry, “or the observation of dips in a star’s light as a planet crosses the face of the star” (Figure 1). Although, five thousand, one hundred and fifty-four planets were identified but only two thousand, five hundred and three have been confirmed.

From the high number of exoplanets being discovered throughout the many years, astronomers and scientists have still yet to find extraterrestrial life. After acknowledging this piece, I know for certain that alien life does exist in other galaxies. The assumption of mankind unable to discover other galaxies with alien life yet is astonishing to me. Particularly because of the great amount of UFO sightings, it leaves me with speculation that NASA is covering up classified information to “protect” the public.

Works Cited
DeVore, Edna, and Alan Gould. “Chasing Shadows: Discovering Planets Around Distant Stars.” The Science Teacher, 2017, pp. 53-59.

Mayor, Michel, and Didier Queloz. “A Jupiter-Mass Companion to a Solar-Type Star.” Nature Publishing Group, vol. 378, no. 23, 1995, pp. 355-359.


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