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Photo: First Confirmed Image of a Planet Outside Our Solar System

Alien_planet

Space.com writes:

"A planet outside of our solar system, said to be the first ever directly photographed by telescopes on Earth, has been officially confirmed to be orbiting a sun-like star, according to follow-up observations. The alien planet is eight times the mass of Jupiter and orbits at an unusually great distance from its host star — more than 300 times farther from the star than our Earth is from the sun. Astronomers first discovered the planet in 2008 using visible light observations from telescopes on Earth, making it the first direct photo of an extrasolar world. But at the time there was still the remote chance that it only looked like it was orbiting the star, from the perspective of Earth, due to a lucky alignment of object, star and observer...The host star, which has an estimated mass of about 85 percent that of our sun, is located approximately 500 light-years away in a group of young stars called the Upper Scorpius Association that formed about 5 million years ago."

Billions and billions...

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Comments

  1. Iis it ok to call it Fire Island?

    Posted by: Geo Vaughn | Jul 1, 2010 2:00:01 PM


  2. I call dibs on the southern hemisphere.

    Posted by: crispy | Jul 1, 2010 2:04:32 PM


  3. It's not the first to be directly photographed... http://tinyurl.com/37yo5w4

    Posted by: JT | Jul 1, 2010 2:30:58 PM


  4. What's the gay marriage law there?

    Posted by: JNJ | Jul 1, 2010 2:35:22 PM


  5. That is awesome, but why does the Upper Scorpius Association sound like some rock band?

    Posted by: Liz | Jul 1, 2010 2:38:14 PM


  6. It's only the first one photographed around a Sun-like star. Exosolar planet photos are still very rare, however.

    Posted by: anon | Jul 1, 2010 3:29:42 PM


  7. It's the first an exoplanet has been directly photographed by a telescope on the ground... space telescopes have already photographed exoplanets:
    http://sagansbrain.blogspot.com/2010/07/new-exoplanet-image-first-from-ground.html

    Posted by: Teachey | Jul 1, 2010 4:34:15 PM


  8. If it's bigger than Jupiter it must be a gas giant,which means we can't live there.
    Gas giants usually have erratic weather,temperatures and toxic atmospheres. There are tons of other planets out there but Earth is still the only one humans can live on.

    Posted by: Rooney | Jul 1, 2010 6:33:38 PM


  9. Oh please Please PLEASE don't give it a retarded name!

    Posted by: Greenthumb55 | Jul 1, 2010 9:10:56 PM


  10. I love the sexy astronomy stuff and it's just amazing how goddamn big and inhabited the Universe is by 'stuff'. Teach me, Towleroad, teach me!

    Posted by: Drew | Jul 2, 2010 2:01:16 AM


  11. It's only a matter of time before we find Earthlike planets elsewhere. Who knows, maybe one of its moons has a breathable atmosphere and water?

    Posted by: Matteo | Jul 2, 2010 11:04:27 AM


  12. Cool.

    Posted by: Stephen | Jul 2, 2010 5:54:28 PM


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