First Direct Images of Planets Around Other Stars
Friday, November 14, 2008
Left: Infrared image of one planet orbiting HR 8799. Right: Isolated dots are planets; multicolored ball is residual light from HR 8799. (National Research Council Canada)
Astronomers have taken what they say are the first-ever direct images of planets outside of our solar system, including a visible-light snapshot of a single-planet system and an infrared picture of a multiple-planet system.
Earth-like worlds might also exist in the three-planet system, but if so they are too dim to photograph.
The full Eye-of-Sauron-like 2006 image of the dust disk surrounding Fomalhaut.A Hubble Space Telescope image from 2006 of the debris belt around the nearby star Fomalhaut. A planet, inset, is clearly visible. (NASA)
A Hubble Space Telescope image from 2006 of the debris belt around the nearby star Fomalhaut. A planet, inset, is clearly visible. (Paul Kalas/UC Berkeley; STScI)
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