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Scientists Just Took an Actual Picture of a Planet in Another Star System

 A team of scientists claims to have taken a photo of an exoplanet using the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile to verify the planet's existence.

The planet, known as "b Pictoris c," is situated in the Beta Pictoris system approximately 63 light-years from Earth. They are attempting to narrow in on how it may have formed using the additional brightness and dynamic mass data they have learned through imaging it.


By observing the impact the planet had on the orbit of its parent star, scientists first learned of its existence. It is impossible to imagine the planet alone because of how closely it orbits its star.

The researchers employed a method known as the "radial velocity method," which has been used for many years to find hundreds of exoplanets but never to directly analyze exoplanets.

The team was able to pinpoint the position with incredible clarity using data from the four telescopes of the VLT, and they were also able to take a photograph of it. This was the first time an exoplanet could be verified using both the "radial velocity approach" and direct imaging.

According to Mathias Nowak, principal author of the article that was recently published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics, "this implies we can now obtain both the brightness and the mass of this exoplanet." The more large a planet is, the more brilliant it is typically.

The scientists will need to wait until there is enough radial velocity data to make a mass determination. Due to the exoplanet's 28-year orbital period, this may take some time.

According to a statement from Frank Eisenhauer, the GRAVITY project's chief scientist at the Max Planck Institutes for Astronomy and Extraterrestrial Physics, "It is remarkable what level of detail and sensitivity we can accomplish with GRAVITY."

From the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy to planets outside the solar system, we are only beginning to explore magnificent new worlds, he continued.

ReferenceAstronomy and Astrophysics

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