9828Photograph of the 1st exstrasolar planet
- Apr 1, 2005URL to an article that appeared in MSNBC
First few paragraphs
"After a few close calls, astronomers have finally obtained the first
photograph of a planet beyond our solar system, Space.com has learned.
And this time they're sure.The planet is thought to be one to two times as
massive as Jupiter. It orbits a star similar to a young version of our sun.The
star, GQ Lupi, has been observed by a team of European astronomers since 1999.
They have made three images using the European Southern Observatory's Very
Large Telescope in Chile. The Hubble Space Telescope and the Japanese Subaru
Telescope each contributed an image, too.
The work was led by Ralph Neuhaeuser of the Astrophysical Institute &
University Observatory."The detection of the faint object near the bright star is
certain," Neuhaeuser told Space.com on Friday.
The system is young, so the planet is rather warm, like a bun fresh out of
the oven. That warmth made it comparatively easier to see in the glare of its
host star compared with more mature planets. Also, the planet is very far from
the star — about 100 times the distance between Earth and the sun, another
factor in helping to separate the light between the two objects.
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