A planet only 20 million years old and still hot from its creation has been photographed in a solar system 96 light-years from Earth.
(Image: © By Karl Tate, Infographics Artist)
Astronomers have directly photographed a planet not unlike Jupiter orbiting 51 Eridani, a sunlike star 96 light-years from Earth.
Main Story: Found! 'Young Jupiter,' the Smallest Exoplanet Directly Seen by Telescope
The star is young, only 20 million years old (compared with the sun's 4.6 billion years). The planet, 51 Eridani b, still glows with the heat of its formation.
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Scientists used the
Gemini Planet Imager, an instrument on the Gemini South telescope in Chile, to make the discovery. The Gemini Planet Imager is an instrument designed specifically for directly imaging exoplanets around distant stars. Related: 'Young Jupiter' 51 Eridani b: Why Directly Imaging an Exoplanet Is Big (Kavli Q+A) More resources: 7 Ways Scientists Find Alien Planets Alien Planet Quiz: Are You an Exoplanet Expert? Planets Large and Small Populate Our Galaxy (Infographic)
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