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The Alien Planets of Star HR 8799 (Photos)

Planetary Family Portrait: HR 8799

Project 1640

This image shows the HR 8799 planets with starlight optically suppressed and data processing conducted to remove residual starlight. The star is at the center of the blackened circle in the image. The four spots indicated with the letters b through e are the planets. A team of researchers belonging to a group called Project 1640, which is partly funded by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., used the Palomar Observatory near San Diego to obtain detailed spectra of the four planets.

Major Breakthrough: First Photos of Planets Around Other Stars

2MASS/UMass/IPAC-Caltech/NASA/NSF

This 3D representation of the three planets orbiting the star HR 8799 shows the system is located 90 degrees away from the Milky Way galactic center, lower than the sun. (All orbital diameters are greatly exaggerated.)

Light from Faraway Planet Directly Detected

ESO.

The bright and very young star HR 8799, about 130 light-years away from Earth, hosts a planetary system that looks like a scaled-up model of our own Solar System. 3 giant planetary companions have been detected so far, with masses between 7 and 10 times that of Jupiter and being between 20 and 70 times as far from their host star than the Earth is from the Sun; the system also includes two belts of smaller objects, similar to our asteroid and Kuiper belts. This NACO image shows the star and the middle planet (marked).

Hidden Planet Discovered in Old Hubble Data

NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)

This is an artistic illustration of the giant planet HR 8799b. The planet was first discovered in 2007 at the Gemini North observatory. The planet is young and hot, at a temperature of 1500 degrees Fahrenheit. It is slightly larger than Jupiter and may be 10 times more massive.

Four Giant Exoplanets of Star HR 8799 Includes One With Water in its Atmosphere (Infographic)

Karl Tate, Space.com Infographics Artist

Unlike most exoplanet discoveries, the system of HR 8799 can be directly viewed by Earth-based telescopes.

HR 8799 Planetary System

Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics; Mediafarm

This artist's rendering of the planetary system of HR 8799 130 light-years from Earth as it may have appeared at an early stage in its evolution. The image shows the giant exoplanet HR 8799c, as well as a disk of gas and dust, and interior planets. Image added March 14, 2013.

Star HR 8799

Christian Marois and Bruce Macintosh

The star HR 8799 captured in an infrared image, along with several planets.

New Planets Found Around HR 8799

NASA; ESA; STScI, R. Soummer

The left image shows the star HR 8799 as seen by Hubble's Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) in 1998. The center image shows recent processing of the NICMOS data with newer, sophisticated software. Further processing reveals three planets orbiting HR 8799. The illustration on the right shows the positions of the star and the orbits of its four known planets.

Solar System Around HR 8799

RC-HIA, C. Marois & Keck Observatory

One of the discovery images of the supersized alien solar system around the star HR 8799, about 130 light-years from Earth, obtained by the Keck II telescope using an adaptive optics system and NIRC2 Near-Infrared Imager. The rectangle indicates the field-of view of the OSIRIS instrument. Image added March 14, 2013.

Spectrum of Planet Around HR 8799

ESO/M. Janson

Spectrum of planet around HR 8799.

Star HR 8799 as Seen by Hubble's Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer

NASA, ESA, and R. Soummer (STScI)

This image of the star HR 8799 was taken by Hubble's Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) in 1998. A mask within the camera (coronagraph) blocks most of the light from the star. Scattered light from HR 8799 dominates the image, obscuring the faint planets.

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