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Exoplanetary Scratchpad

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Lich (PSR B1257+12) is a millisecond pulsar 1000 ly away in Virgo around which the first confirmed exoplanets were detected. Has an innermost 2 Moon-sized planet Draugr (A or b, 0.19 AU, the least massive known exoplanet), a 4.3 ME planet Poltergeist (B or c) at 0.36 AU, and a 3.9 ME planet Phobetor (C or d) at 0.46 AU. Variations in the pulsar's 6.22 ms period led to the planets' discovery. Draugr and Poltergeist are near enough to each other to perturb each others orbits, and this was detected and used to prove they existed. The planets were designated with capitol letters before naming conventions were established, and A was discovered last and thus dubbed because it was closer. An outer Saturn sized planet was disproved, as was its successor Dwarf Planet hypothesis. The system may have an asteroid or comet belt. The planets may be second generation. So far, only one other pulsar has been found to have a planet. One of the first 20 exoplanet systems allowed to be given common names by the IAU. The theme of the naming of this system is "undead" creatures, since a pulsar is an "undead" star. The star Lich is named after an undead creature that controls other undead creatures, Draugr is a Norse undead creature, Poltergeist is a "noisy ghost" in German, and Phobetor is a Greek deity of nightmares.

My Thoughts[]


The star itself was discovered by a Polish astronomer, as was the planet. In Virgo. Dice/Hesychia/Eirene/Eunomia is very relevant to the constellation and the fact it's a pulsar. Even resonance "balance" is represented in the planet names. I'll go with that one. Hubris/Gymnasia/Musica/Icaria are words, but at least they tie them to the star. Regina apis/Punica malus/Tillia/Laurus are also words that tie into the pulsar. So are Gravitas, Trivia, Antevorta, Postvorta. Geesh, why'd everybody thing latin sounding words were so cool for this pulsar?? Oh interesting, Lich/Draugr/Poltergeist/Phobetor are all undead monster references, hehe. Don't pick "Rock and Roll" star, please.

PSR B1257+12 System Web Pages[]

PSR B1257+12 System Artwork[]

PSR B1257+12 System In the News[]

First 2 Exoplanets Discovered (1992)[]

Planets Confirmed and Third Planet Discovered (1994)[]

Planet D (Saturnian) Announced (1996)[]

Planet Assembly Model (2009)[]

Planet D (Double Pluto) Announced (2001)[]

Planet D Withdrawn, Replaced with Possible Comet (2002)[]

Earth-Sized Planets Interaction Derives Mass, Inclination, Confirmation (Apr 2003)[]

Outer "Comet" Discovered (Feb 2005)[]

Could Planets Emit Radio Waves? (2011)[]

Discovery of Planets Recalled (2012)[]

Astrometry, Dust Disc Due To Evaporation of Binary? (2013)[]

One of the Top 20 Exoplanetary Systems First Up For Naming (May 2015)[]

See Also[]