Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wow, Just Wow

For the first time ever, astronomers have directly observed an actual extra-solar planet.

Previous extra-solar worlds have been detected when they occluded their primary star or by gravitational displacement, but in this case astronomers have used the Hubble space telescope to directly observe a planet in visible light. The new world circles Fomalhaut b, twenty-five light years away.

How astounding is that?

That’s it, the faint little dot inside the small white box.  The Star Fomalhaut is the white dot in the middle of the picture, and the rays of light surrounding the distant sun are starlight reflecting off of an immense dusty debris field. 



Original article is here.


  1. just think, sooner or later, we are going to see something really cool.

    conizes: when Ms Rice speaks

  2. It's fun living in the future!

    banticas- chicken-like biped that lives on Fomalhaut 1.

  3. Hmmm. Eric pointed out to me that this discovery is now about two years old.

    Unfortunately, due to speed of light delay, the information is just now reaching Alaska.

    Yes, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

  4. I would also point out that I was directed to this article from this morning's Hubble Twitter feed - So you know, I'm not the only one suffering from light speed lag here. Just saying ;)

  5. Yeah, I showed that to my Astronomy class two years ago. Relativity -- ain't it a bitch?

    Dr. Phil

    pastsco -- a Costco store from an earlier era.

  6. sorry to poach on the thread here, but speed of light lag... XKCD takes that topic on

    kusin:soviet cousin

  7. Science is awesome. That is all.


  8. Anonymous said, "Science is awesome."

    I thought, according to some people, science was the devil's work, and only heathens, pagans, and other nonbelievers (who shall be Left Behind) practice the vile, dark arts.

    corsh -- I took a corsh in wine tasting.


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