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First Ever Image of Alien Planet Captured!

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posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 05:17 AM
Astronomers say they have captured the first picture of an alien planet in a system that has a sun similar to our own. At last! An alien planet in orbit around a star! But whether it has life or not is the moot point.

The alien planet circled in red.
Courtesy: Daily Galaxy

Called 1RXS J160929.1-210524, it is similar in mass to the Sun, but is much younger. Located around 500 light-years from Earth, the planet in the snapshot is around eight times bigger than Jupiter, the biggest in our solar system and lies more than ten times further from its star than the sun does from Neptune.

“This is the first time we have directly seen a planetary mass object in a likely orbit around a star like our Sun,” said David Lafrenière, lead author of a paper submitted to the Astrophysical Journal Letters and also posted online. “If we confirm that this object is indeed gravitationally tied to the star, it will be a major step forward.”

Until now, the only planet-like bodies that have been directly imaged outside of the solar system are either free-floating in space (i.e. not found around a star), or orbit brown dwarfs, which are dim and make it easier to detect planetary-mass companions.

The existence of a planetary-mass companion so far from its parent star comes as a surprise, and poses a challenge to theoretical models of star and planet formation. "This discovery is yet another reminder of the truly remarkable diversity of worlds out there, and it's a strong hint that nature may have more than one mechanism for producing planetary mass companions to normal stars,” said Ray Jayawardhana, team member and author of a forthcoming book on extrasolar planets entitled Worlds Beyond.


posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 05:27 AM
Good find Mike (as always)

Now if we could only travel 500 light years in a few hours we may have something

I wonder how they can study a planet so far away. What steps they take.

This could account for so many things on so many levels.

Alien life/visitors, space travel , better gas prices, etc.

posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 05:57 AM
Actually I think there is already a thread on this.

BUT I asked a question that wasn't answered.

Any idea what the tempature might be like on that planet?

posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 06:44 AM
its 10 times farther from its sun than neptune is from ours?! but it looks so close in that pic. I guess its behind the star, not next to it, so it must be HUGE. good find, although I doubt any life as we know it could exist there. hell thats almost enough mass to become a brown dwarf isn't it?

posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 07:59 AM
8 times bigger than Jupiter?WOW!That has to be one huge planet.

I too wonder what the surface temp. is.You would think that being that big and if it has surface temps similar to Earth, this very well may have some type of life on it.

Great find Mike!

posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 09:13 AM
Well, as per the Telegraph...

The Jupiter-sized body has an estimated temperature of about 1,500ºC, much hotter than our own Jupiter, which has a temperature of about -110ºC, and its likely host is a young star with an estimated mass of about 85 per cent that of the Sun.

But these are just 'guesstimates'! Who knows it could be much cooler! After all it's pretty far away from its parent sun.


posted on Sep, 16 2008 @ 09:21 AM
seems like a lot of energy output for a planet that far away from a sun less powerful than ours; maybe its a miniature sun orbiting another sun? i dunno just a guess but i would think it should be a frozen rock being that far away unless it has its own energy source (besides a weak star)

Good find mike!

posted on Sep, 17 2008 @ 12:11 PM
I wonder if it could possibly be a "failed" binary system...IE. the "planet" might be a failed star, at 8 times the size of Jupiter, it should almost be big enough to be a brown dwarf.. maybe??

[edit on 17-9-2008 by SideWynder]

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