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SCI/TECH: Astronomers confirm first images of planet outside our solar system

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posted on Apr, 30 2005 @ 08:39 AM
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New observations have confirmed that the two objects are gravitationally bound, and not separate objects. The object was initially discovered in April 2004. The planet is about 5 times the mass of Jupiter, 100 times fainter then it's companion, and is about 200 light-years away
 



www.eso.org
An international team of astronomers reports today confirmation of the discovery of a giant planet, approximately five times the mass of Jupiter, that is gravitationally bound to a young brown dwarf. This puts an end to a year long discussion on the nature of this object, which started with the detection of a red object close to the brown dwarf.

In February and March of this year, the astronomers took new images of the young brown dwarf and its giant planet companion with the state-of-the-art NACO instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope in northern Chile. The planet is near the southern constellation of Hydra and approximately 200 light years from Earth.

"Our new images show convincingly that this really is a planet, the first planet that has ever been imaged outside of our solar system," tells Gael Chauvin, astronomer at ESO and leader of the team of astronomers who conducted the study. "The two objects - the giant planet and the young brown dwarf - are moving together; we have observed them for a year, and the new images essentially confirm our 2004 finding," says Benjamin Zuckerman, UCLA professor of physics and astronomy, member of NASA's Astrobiology Institute, and a member of the team. "I'm more than 99 percent confident." The separation between the planet and the brown dwarf is 55 times the separation of the Earth and Sun.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


There are some really nice pictures of it if you follow the link. Not much else to say except that I hope some day they are able to find an earth like planet around a main sequence star.

[edit on 4/30/2005 by Jehosephat]

[edit on 4/30/2005 by Jehosephat]




posted on Apr, 30 2005 @ 11:57 AM
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artists rendering of the planet




posted on Apr, 30 2005 @ 12:03 PM
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This is great news. I am continually amazed at the advances we make in imaging. Hopefully this research will allow other astronomers to get clear images of even further planets, and open up possibilities for future exploration/colonization.

This planet won't last forever.



 
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