UC Grad Discovers Planet 320 Light Years Away

May 2, 2017

At a distance of 320 light years from Earth there is a planet in constant daylight, with three suns and seasons longer than a human lifetime. We don’t just know it’s there, we have visual proof.

That’s because at just 22 years old Kentucky native Kevin Wagner not only discovered the planet, he did what few explorers have done, he captured images of it.

The European Southern Observatory commissioned an artist's rendering of Scorpion-1b, a planet with three suns that UC astrophysics graduate Kevin Wagner discovered and imaged.
Credit European Southern Observatory/L. Calçada/M. Kornmesser

The University of Cincinnati grad made the discovery in his first year as a Ph.D. student working with a team of astronomers from the University of Arizona at the European Southern Observatory. He calls the newly discovered planet “Scorpion-1b.”

Here to talk about this discovery and why direct imaging of exoplanets is so important to advancements in astronomy are University of Arizona Ph.D. student Kevin Wagner; University of Cincinnati Department of Physics Professor Dr. Michael Sitko; and Cincinnati Observatory Outreach Astronomer and Co-host of the PBS series Star Gazers, Dean Regas. Dean Regas is also author of the book, Facts from Space!: From Super-Secret Spacecraft to Volcanoes in Outer Space, Extraterrestrial Facts to Blow Your Mind!.

For more information on Kevin Wagner and Scorpion-1b click here