Day 124 mile 124: Star wars & Exoplanets. Today is May 4th and therefore Star Wars day with lots of bad jokes along the lines of “May the forth be with you”. A lesser known fact is that it is very appropriately also the anniversary of the announcement of the discovery of the first Exoplanet in volume 339 of the journal Nature on this day 1989. If you want to read the paper it is here. Being tucked in the bottom corner of the constellation Coma Berenices the planet (HD114762 b) and it’s star are pretty much exactly due west early this morning so I ran in that direction.
It is surprisingly nice to be out early in the morning, the sky is clearing and there is nobody about. While I acknowledge that running towards a planet that you have no hope of seeing with current telescope technology let alone the naked eye could seem a bit arbitrary, it is surprisingly nice feeling. It engenders a massive sensation of space, and the awareness of being on a circular ball of rock spinning through the void is rather fun. There is something quite alluring about this feeling of being part of a massive universe with nothing but an ethereal layer of atmosphere between ones self and a planet roughly 35 times more massive than Jupiter and 130 light years away. It is somewhat akin to wanting to look over a precipitous drop to see how deep it is, but instead of peering down, the view is turned upwards towards the heavens. HD114762 b may be a long way away but there is basically nothing between the earth and this planet; with a sufficiently long stick you could theoretically poke it from here!
On a completely disconnected note, happy birthday to my Mum 🙂
There was only one earworm that it could possibly be for today…
I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.
Distance: 1624.5 meters recorded
(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)
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Massive thanks to all 🙂