Talk about an alien world …

We have detected the telltale signs of exo-solar planets orbiting stars big and small, dead stars, neutron stars, multiple star systems and even some worlds orbiting no star. But these newly discovered worlds have a truly stellar night sky:

Discovery News — Two newly discovered “hot Jupiters,” which are called Pr0201b and Pr0211b, orbit different sun-like stars in the Beehive Cluster, a collection of about 1,000 stars that swirls around a common center. Each planet likely has a dazzling night sky, one much starrier than we’re used to here on Earth.The Beehive Cluster, which sits about 550 light-years from Earth, is an open cluster — a group of stars born from the same cloud of material at roughly the same time (in the Beehive’s case, about 600 million years ago). So the 1,000 stars there share a similar chemical composition, researchers said.


  1. birgerjohansson says

    High metal content apparently correlates to hot Jupiters. Unfortunately, this reduces the probability of systems like ours, with terrestrial planets in stable orbits without disruptions from nearby jovians.

  2. Robert B. says

    even some worlds orbiting no star

    Wait, seriously? I know we’ve detected objects that are probably recaptured rogue planets. But have we really detected planets that are not in orbit around any star? That would be totally awesome…


    Yeah, it’s true! We spot them by gravitational lensing as they happen to pass in front of stars. And if we can spot such an absurd coincidence in any significant numbers, there must be bazillions of rogue planets, more than there are stars.

    The universe kicks ass.

  3. StevoR says

    BTW. Ain or Ocularis Borealis aka Epsilon Tauri the second brightest star in the Hyades cluster (brightest really since Aldebarran is really a foreground star not a cluster member) is another orange giant star with a planet too!

    As renowned Stellar astronomer and author James B. Kaler notes in his website here :

    Ain has the first planet ever to be found in an open cluster, and is also the most massive star (2.7 times that of the Sun) known to have one. The planet, which has a minimum mass 7.6 times that of Jupiter, orbits at an average distance of 1.93 Astronomical Units (290 million kilometers), giving it a long orbital period of 595 days (1.63 years)….(snip -ed.) ..Imagine the view! From the planet, not only would the sky be bright with the cluster’s many stars, but Ain itself would appear over three degrees across, nearly 7 times the angular size of the Sun. Ain thus joins Pollux as a visually bright planet-holding giant.

    This has actually been known for many years now since before 2007.

    There’s also a very strange and record-breakingly ancient planet orbiting a white dwarf -pulsar duo in the globular cluster

    So that’s at least two others in star clusters.

Leave a Reply