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Do we have photos of exoplanets?

After the first exoplanet was discovered in 1995 by measuring the gravitational influence of the planet on its star by the radial velocity method, we had to wait 13 years to have the first true picture of an exoplanet. It was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2008. The object is called Fomalhaut b, a planet that is 4 times the Sun-Neptune distance from its star. Its mass is estimated between 0.5 and 2 times that of Jupiter. Already in 2004 astronomers used ESO’s VLT to produce an image of a companion of a so called brown dwarf. To date, only about fifteen planets have been photographed.

The Fomalhaut system imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope. Credit: NASA/ESA/P.Kalas, UC Berkeley

The Fomalhaut system imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope. Credit: NASA/ESA/P.Kalas, UC Berkeley


Category: Exoplanets

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