January 24, 2012 by Thomas McGregor
In this Deep Space Review I wanted to take a look at a planet that was two things: One, visible from Earth with the naked eye. And Two, discovered relatively recently. Crazily enough, the above photoed planet Taygeta is just what we are looking for.
This +4.30 Magnitude star is part of a triple threat of stars that orbit in the constellation Taurus. Taygeta A(the primary component star) is a B-type blue-white sub-giant. It’s apparent mass makes it easily seeable by the naked human I in the Northern Hemisphere, on a clear night. Along for the ride are two other sub-giant componential orbital planets that are equal to greater in size at massive +4.6 and +6.1 magnitudes, respectively. Both of these planets spend a total of 1,313 days(3.6 years)in order to make a complete orbital circle. Notable facts surrounding Taygeta are derived from its 2009 discovery. Along with this came information about the planet and its relationship to Earth’s characteristics. On Taygeta, you find that the climate is very similar. Ranging from tropical, tepid, temperate, glacial, and polar. Each zone has a temperature range that relates to its latitudinal location and its exposure to the Sun. Rain and precipitation of various kinds also occurs on Taygeta very similarly to Earth’s range of moisture. Interestingly, Taygeta is home to living organisms and life. This is due to the wide variety bio zones. The rocky silicate crust permits unique and varied land formations to also exist. The twin Earth is in its early stages of development still, but is arguably one of the closet planets to resemble our own.
I find several things directly interesting about Taygeta! For starters lets dive into how recent the discover is. I think its completely amazing how vast the universe is, and how we can continuously make new discoveries of planets and life forms that exist over 440 light years from earth. The technology in order to achieve such achievements, alone, is astounding. As we look into more of the geographical aspects of this Spectral Type B6IV planet, we notice all the very similar attributes that this planetoid has to Earth. For the tropical areas of Taygeta might be a perfect facilitator for living organisms that represent living things very close in molecular and biological similarities. If this is the case, then is it possible that there may be forms of intelligent life on Taygeta? The hope is there, for sure. But at this juncture there isn’t enough scientific date to presume that this is true. One thing can be excitingly relied on, though.. For when we look up into the Northern Hemisphere on a clear night, to see the planet Taygeta, we may be looking at a planet that has intelligent life on it.
By: Thomas McGregor