• HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16308

    Nov 14, 2008 2:48 AM GMT
    From CNN: Astronomers pick up photos of planets via telescope for the first time.

    Partial story:

    Astronomers capture first images of new planetsStory Highlights
    Astronomers have new images of four likely planets outside Earth's solar system

    Read PHOTOS
    By Azadeh Ansari

    (CNN) -- The first-ever pictures of planets outside our solar system were released today in two studies.

    Artist's conception of the multiple planet system as captured by the Gemini Observatory on Hawaii.

    more photos ยป Using the latest techniques in space technology, astronomers at NASA and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory used direct-imaging techniques to capture pictures of four newly discovered planets orbiting stars outside our solar system.

    "After all these years, it's amazing to have a picture showing not one but three planets," said physicist Bruce Macintosh of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California.

    "The discovery of the HR 8799 system is a crucial step on the road to the ultimate detection of another Earth," he said.

    None of the planets is remotely habitable, scientists said.

    Both sets of research findings were published Thursday in Science Express, a journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    A team of American and British astronomers and physicists, using the Gemini North and Keck telescopes on the Mauna Kea mountaintop in Hawaii, observed host star HR8799 to find three of the new planets.

    Scientists estimate that HR8799, roughly 1.5 times the size of the sun, is 130 light years from Earth in the constellation of Pegasus. The individual planets in this planetary family are estimated to be seven to 10 times the mass of Jupiter.

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    Astronomers say the star is too faint to detect with the human eye, but observers could probably see it through binoculars or small telescopes.

    "This discovery is the first time we have directly imaged a family of planets around a normal star outside of our solar system," said Christian Marois, the lead astronomer in the Lawrence Livermore lab study.

    About the same time, NASA astronomers using the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope surprised the space community by locating a fourth planet.
  • Thirdbeach

    Posts: 1364

    Nov 14, 2008 3:01 AM GMT
    Very good news!

    I saw the photo here:

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 15, 2008 4:27 AM GMT
    The post content is correct, but the title is off. We have detected dozens of planets outside our solar system. This is the first time we captured one on film.

    But still, WOO HOO! And Bush was cutting Huble funding in favor of a maned mission to Mars in 2003. This is much, much sweeter.