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First Photo of a Planet Outside Our Solar System

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posted on Apr, 29 2005 @ 11:26 PM
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Photo: AP Photo/ESO



Astronomers have discovered a gigantic planet outside our solar system and managed to take a picture of it. The planet known as "2M1207b" is about 5 times the size of Jupiter and is 225 light years away. The team first spotted the object last year but today it was confirmed to be a planet.


The New York Times: Scientists Say Red Speck Is Indeed Huge New Planet

A reddish speck photographed near a dim and distant star last year is indeed a planet, about five times the mass of Jupiter, an international team of astronomers is reporting today.

The planet, about 230 light-years from Earth in the constellation Hydra, orbits a kind of failed star known as a brown dwarf at a distance of at least five billion miles, twice as far as icy Neptune is from our own Sun. Spectroscopic measurements show water vapor in its atmosphere, suggesting that it is cold like a planet and not hot like a star.

In the year it has taken the European group to cement its claim, other groups have claimed to have seen the first light from extrasolar planets.

Artistic impression of 2M1207b below.

Picture: AP Photo/ESO

Related news sources:
Nettavisen: Fant kjempeplanet (in norwegian...)
The Independent: First picture of a planet outside our solar system
Khaleej Times Online: Astronomers say planet sighting in distant solar system confirmed




posted on Apr, 30 2005 @ 07:39 AM
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5 times the size of Jupiter! Wow, I remember reading about this some time ago, but i never imagined it would be so large.



posted on Apr, 30 2005 @ 02:58 PM
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Only know they confirmed it?

That's a cryin shame. We've discovered things much less massive than this, including a rocky one or two (the harder kind to find, no pun intended). I don't wanna wait too long for all of it to be "confirmed." With these kinds of things, it's good to be sure, but there's no point in dragging it out just to be formal if it's obvious.



posted on Apr, 30 2005 @ 07:48 PM
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when it was first found they wanted to make sure it wasn't a back ground object like a distant galaxy, brown dwarf, or star.



posted on Apr, 30 2005 @ 11:07 PM
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I always laugh at the "artist rendition" pictures.



posted on May, 1 2005 @ 08:05 PM
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ATSNN Story can be found here:
Astronomers confirm first images of planet outside our solar system (by Jehosephat)


apc

posted on May, 1 2005 @ 09:16 PM
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I think it's a sure thing the big sucker is playing protector to a network of small inner planets, just like Jupitor in our system. Too bad the star is kaput, but this only improves the chances of discovering similar systems around bright warm suns. I believe as we discover systems such as this it is only a matter of time before we observe direct evidence of intelligent life.



posted on May, 1 2005 @ 10:40 PM
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Who really cares about gas giants? Im sure there are just heaps of them littered all around the universe. Discovering them is like finding a one cent coin on the street. The real jackpot is finding that earth sized inner jewel. When we find one of those then we can start talking life.


apc

posted on May, 2 2005 @ 12:35 PM
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Thing is gas giants orbiting far from their parent star typically signify the formation of a planetary system similar to our own. Where there are gas giants, we should expect to see smaller inner planets, and it's a sure thing many will lie within the optimal distance for liquid water. The gas giants also suck up a lot of the leftover debris from the formation of the planets, lessening the catastrophic impacts on the inner planets.
So once we know where all the gas giants are, we know where to look for smaller Earth-like planets.

I can't wait for the day that our telescopes are sooooo powerful that we can see the city lights of an alien world. Hopefully in my lifetime!



posted on May, 2 2005 @ 12:38 PM
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Originally posted by croatianguy
Who really cares about gas giants? Im sure there are just heaps of them littered all around the universe. Discovering them is like finding a one cent coin on the street. The real jackpot is finding that earth sized inner jewel. When we find one of those then we can start talking life.


To bad we don't have the instruments to detect earth sized planets yet, it around 5-10 years we will have that capability, but not now. As apc said it gives us a good indication of where to look for Earth Sized planets when we have the capability.



posted on May, 2 2005 @ 06:22 PM
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woa!thats a huge planet! i wonder how big(if there are any) the rest of the planets in that solar system are.




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