Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Here's Your Clearest Look Yet At An Alien Planet In Motion

image credit Vimeo

That pixelated dot you see above may not seem like much, but it's a pretty big deal - it's your best look yet at an alien world. Scientists have used the Gemini Planet Imager to capture the movement of Beta Pictoris b, a gas giant traveling around a star 60 light years away.

That's no mean feat when the exoplanet is about a million times fainter than its host, requiring that the Imager block the star's light and compensate for the distortion of Earth's atmosphere.

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