They found a planet orbiting 'round Pegasus 51,
A nearby yellow G2 star that's very like our Sun.
Astronomers, consider what your instruments have shown:
It's just remotely possible that we are not alone.
And could it be we're not alone at all?
Let's make sure that we are listening when they call.
If there's a planet orbiting a star that's like our sun,
Could there be life near Pegasus 51?
In Florence, Michel Mayor of Geneva told the tale
Of careful Doppler measurements which hardly ever fail.
The instruments he used are CORAVEL and ELODIE.
They clearly showed a planet that the eye could never see.
The planet they've detected is roughly Jovian size.
It didn't take the scientists too long to realize
That's not the kind of world that sentient beings would call home,
But there could well be others, maybe one just like our own.
The star that's known as HR eighty seven twenty nine
Is known to have a very weak Ca II spectral line,
Just forty Light Years distant, of precisely solar mass
And temperature, determined from its stellar type and class.
The magnitude of 51 is four point eighty four.
The Sun is four point seven nine, so who could ask for more?
Its solar luminosity is ninety six percent,
Point nine eight solar radii, a twin that's heaven sent.
The age of 51 is thought to be eight billion years.
Our sun is just five billion, but it def'nitely appears
That 51 is far more rich in metals than our Sun.
That's not what you'd expect, so there is still work to be done.
Throughout the local galaxy a billion suns abound.
We've long suspected planets, but this is the first one found
Around a solar twin. But is there life? We cannot say.
An active SETI program will determine that some day.
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this page last updated 31 January 2009
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