PSR B1257+12 B, also known as Poltergeist, is an extrasolar planet located in the constellation Virgo about 2,300 light-years away. It is one of three pulsar planets known to orbit the pulsar PSR B1257+12 and was one of the first planets discovered outside the Solar System. Pulsar planets like Poltergeist and its neighbors Phobetor and Draugr are constantly bombarded by radiation from the star’s core. In this most hostile region of the galaxy, only the undead can survive.
PSR B1257+12 b is a pulsar-orbiting terrestrial exoplanet. It has a mass of 0.02 Earths, takes 25.3 days to complete one orbit around its star, and is 0.19 AU away from it. It was discovered in 1994 and announced.
It is over four times the mass of the Earth and orbits the primary at a distance of 0.36 AU with an orbital period of about 66 days. It and Phobetor were expected to cause measurable perturbations in each other’s orbits because their masses are very similar and they orbit close to each other. The detection of such perturbations proved that the planets were real. The precise masses and inclinations of the two planets were calculated based on how much the planets perturbed each other.
The letters PSR (Pulsating Source of Radio) were used to designate pulsars, which were then followed by the pulsar’s right ascension and degrees of declination. The older numbers are now prefixed with a B, indicating that they are for the 1950.0 epoch. All new pulsars have a J indicating coordinates in the year 2000.0, as well as declination including minutes. Pulsars discovered before 1993 typically keep their B names rather than using their J names, but all pulsars have a J name that provides more precise coordinates of their location in the sky.
When it was discovered, the planet was given the designation PSR 1257+12 B, and later PSR B1257+12 B. It was discovered before the convention of naming extrasolar planets with the star’s name followed by lower-case Roman letters beginning with “b” was established. However, astronomical databases such as SIMBAD and the Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia list it under the latter convention. As a result, PSR B1257+12 c was assigned.
The International Astronomical Union launched NameExoWorlds in July 2014, a process for naming specific exoplanets and their host stars. The procedure included public nomination and voting for the new names. The IAU announced in December 2015 that Poltergeist was the winning name for this planet. The winning name was submitted by the Planetarium Südtirol Alto Adige in Karneid, Italy. Poltergeist is a term for supernatural beings that cause physical disturbances, derived from the German for “noisy ghost.”