The Lost Planets: Peter van de Kamp and the Vanishing Exoplanets around Barnard's Star

Author:   John Wenz (Digital Producer, Knowable Magazine) ,  Corey S. Powell
Publisher:   MIT Press Ltd
ISBN:  

9780262042864


Pages:   200
Publication Date:   08 October 2019
Format:   Hardback
Availability:   Not yet available   Availability explained
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The Lost Planets: Peter van de Kamp and the Vanishing Exoplanets around Barnard's Star


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Overview

A fascinating account of the pioneering astronomer who claimed (erroneously) to have discovered a planet outside the solar system. There are innumerable planets revolving around innumerable stars across our galaxy. Between 2009 and 2018, NASA's Kepler space telescope discovered thousands of them. But exoplanets-planets outside the solar system-appeared in science fiction before they appeared in telescopes. Astronomers in the early decades of the twentieth century spent entire careers searching for planets in other stellar systems. In The Lost Planets, John Wenz offers an account of the pioneering astronomer Peter van de Kamp, who was one of the first to claim discovery of exoplanets. Van de Kamp, working at Swarthmore College's observatory, announced in 1963 that he had identified a planet around Barnard's Star, the second-closest star system to the Sun. He cited the deviations in Barnard's star's path- wobbles that suggested a large object was lurching around the star. Van de Kamp became something of a celebrity (appearing on a television show with Mr. Wizard, Don Henry), but subsequent research did not support his claims. Wenz describes van de Kamp's stubborn refusal to accept that he was wrong, discusses the evidence found by other researchers, and explains recent advances in exoplanet detection, including transit, radial velocity, direct imaging, and microlensing. Van de Kamp retired from Swarthmore in 1972, and died in 1995 at 93. In 2009, Swarthmore named its new observatory the Peter van de Kamp Observatory. In the 1990s, astronomers discovered and confirmed the first planet outside our solar system. In 2018, an exoplanet was detected around Barnard's Star-not, however, the one van de Kamp thought he had discovered in 1963.

Full Product Details

Author:   John Wenz (Digital Producer, Knowable Magazine) ,  Corey S. Powell
Publisher:   MIT Press Ltd
Imprint:   MIT Press
Dimensions:   Width: 13.70cm , Height: 2.10cm , Length: 20.30cm
ISBN:  

9780262042864


ISBN 10:   026204286
Pages:   200
Publication Date:   08 October 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  General
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   Not yet available   Availability explained
This item is yet to be released. You can pre-order this item and we will dispatch it to you upon its release.

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John Wenz is Digital Producer at Knowable Magazine. His writing has appeared in publications including Scientific American, Discover, New Scientist, Daily Beast, Vice Magazine, Wired, and the Atlantic.

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