Exoplanetary Scratchpad

[SysBP Img]

Pollux is also known as Beta Geminorum, HR 2990, HD 62509, and Gl 286. It was originally called Polydeuces by the Greeks, after the immortal twin. The brightest star in Geminorum, which suggests it may have used to be the second brightest four centuries ago, and is the 17th brightest star in the sky. It is an orange-red giant star (K0 III) 1.7 times the Sun's mass and 8.8 its diameter and 724 MYO. It is the nearest (34 ly) giant star to the Sun. Its spectra has been used as a stable anchor point since 1943. It has one of the weakest measured magnetic field of any star. Planet Thestias was confirmed in 2006 that was first suspected in 1993. It orbits 1.64 AU in a circular path and is at least 2.3 times as massive as Jupiter. This is much nearer than the present habitable zone, which is centered at 5.7 AU. This is the brightest star in the sky known to have a planet. One of the first 20 exoplanet systems allowed to be given common names by the IAU. Named after the mother of Pollux, Leda. However, Leda is already taken as a moon of Jupiter, so a name derived from her father is used, which is sometimes used to refer to her or her sister..

My ThoughtsEdit

Ack, I always think this is on the right side of Gemini because I think "Castor and Pollux", but it is on the left side. Hard to imagine a planet twice as far out as Earth as being too hot for life now, but it is. I have to wonder though, how long ago would the planet have been in the habitable zone? Its current age is hardly enough time for Earth life to develop, so probably not long enough for anything to take root.


Obviously this is named after Pollux, one of the twins. It was discovered by an american who works in a German observatory.

  • Mnesileüs

In Greek Mythology Pollux (Polydeuces in the original Greek) had a son named Mnesileüs. We believe it is pronounced Nes-sil-e-yous. Please note the original myth also has an additional spelling, but we think this version is marginally easier to pronounce. This generational type of naming has a long tradition in our own Solar System i.e. Uranus begat Saturn who begat Jupiter who then fathered Mars and Mercury. - This information comes from "The Meridian Handbook of Classical Mythology" 1970 This one passes the test.

  • Lucius - Lucius Caecilius Q. F. Q. N. Metellus Diadematus was the council that build the Castor & Pollux Temple. - To celebrate the construction of the temple in Italy


  • Leda - In Greek mythology, the father of the twins Pollux and Castor is said to be either Zeus or Tyndareus (the king of Sparta) depending on which version you go by. But all versions have Leda as their mother, so it is fitting that the celestial version of Pollux is accompanied by his beautiful mother Leda in an everlasting celestial orbit.

I'd love this, but there's already an asteroid with this name. Maybe it could be modified slightly?

Pollux System Web PagesEdit

Pollux System In the NewsEdit

Planet b Suspected(2003)Edit

Planet b Confirmed (2006)Edit Planet around Pollux -- confirmed! - Extrasolar Visions Thread
Gamma Cephei Ab - inferred 20 years before?? - Extrasolar Visions Thread

One of the Top 20 Exoplanetary Systems First Up For Naming (May 2015)Edit

See AlsoEdit

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