Aleksander Wolszczan

Aleksander Wolszczan

March 7th, 2003

In the Search for the Second Earth

Aleksander Wolszczan (b.1945) graduated from Nicolaus Copernicus
University in Toruń, Poland (1969), and then earned a Ph.D.

in physics there in 1975. In the early 1980s he began his
collaboration with the astronomical research centers at Princeton

Cornell. Since 1992 he has been a professor of astronomy and
astrophysics at Pennsylvania State University and lecturer at

Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń.

Prof. Wolszczan is a radio astronomer and astrophysicist, one of
the foremost researchers of pulsars, widely recognized for

his discovery of the first planets outside the solar system. Timing
the radio signals coming from a distant pulsar in the

constellation Virgo, he determined the presence of three planets
orbiting the star, two of them similar in mass to Earth, and

the third about the mass of the moon. His discovery, published in
the early 1990s, caused great excitement and was immediately

followed by intense and successful search for planets around other