September 10, 2004

Ooooooh, really shiny!

European and US astronomers have taken the first photograph of a planet outside our solar system. The object (the red thing in the photo) is associated with a brown dwarf about 220 light years from the Earth.

new_planet.jpg

While numerous other extra-solar planets have been discovered by analyzing perturbation in the motions of stars, the photo taken using the Yepun telescope is the first image ever obtained of a planet circling another star. Astronomers are hesitant to say for sure that this photo shows what they hope it shows, but so far all observations support the extra-solar planet supposition.

The European Southern Observatory has more about the discovery here. The BBC has a less technical story here.

Posted by Magpie at September 10, 2004 09:27 AM | Shiny Things | Technorati links |
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