Seeing extrasolar planets?!?!

I would be remiss if I didn’t post this fantabulous awesome picture that just might be the first picture of an extrasolar planet around a star.

The little one is the planet around the K7 star in the middle.

I haven’t taken time to read the paper yet, but there’s more good info at Bad Astronomy and Universe Today. As expected, it was taken in the infrared, where stars are slightly dimmer and planets brighter than in the visible. We knew that this was coming, it’s been a hot topic for a while, but I thought we were a few years off. If confirmed (that part is very important), it would be very far out from its star, 11 times the distance of Neptune, and weigh 8 times the mass of Jupiter. Astronomers determined that it is an extrasolar planet candidate from its spectrum, but time will tell if it is actually gravitationally bound.

Very cool!!!

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