Astronomy Club with Paul Hellings: Eight Planets and Five Thousand More

Until about thirty years ago, the hypothesis was very likely: planets must also orbit other stars. But the stars are so far away and also give off so much light that it seems almost impossible to detect planets orbiting those blinding balls of light.

However, astronomers are creative, and thanks to a number of useful methods, they have been able to discover so-called “exoplanets” since the mid-1990s. And not just one copy from time to time, but more than 5,000 copies. The counter continues to work.

Paul Hellings will talk about how this all works and what we can infer from it at MIRA during this Astronomy Club.

Paul Hellings holds a PhD in Astrophysics and worked as a professor at the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at KU Leuven. He is also a popular author of articles on astronomy and cosmology for the Astronomical Society’s Cosmos journal.

Visit the gazebo at MIRA. MIRA has had a well-equipped gazebo for many years, but since 2019 has added a beautiful large, fully automated dome containing a 50cm telescope! From now on, stargazing on MIRA will offer more possibilities than before… The days are long and the nights are short. At the beginning of the astronomy club we can observe the sun for a long time in clear weather. There is always something beautiful to see in and around the Sun, and MIRA has excellent telescopes to observe the Sun not only in complete safety, but also in great detail. It doesn’t get dark until late, but those who stay long enough can see the first spring and summer constellations appear in the sky under a dark starry sky.

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Megan Vasquez

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