Images captured by the ESO (European Southern Observatory) show a series of orbital positions of a planet around a star 63 light-years from Earth. This is the first time we’ve captured a direct image of a planet orbiting another star.
The images were seen by the VLT (very large telescope). In these images exoplanet Beta Pictoris b traverses around the host star at an approximate distance of 800 million miles (or 1.3 billion kilometers). This orbit is comparable to Saturn and our Sun.
The planet is said to be 1.5 times the size of Jupiter and thirteen times more massive with an orbit of 20 years it’s also believed to be extremely hot at 1,500°C (2,700°F). This is the only known planet in this system.
“These images are a remarkable achievement, heralding a new era in one of the most exciting and challenging areas of astronomy – discovering and characterising exoplanets,”
Below you can find a time-lapsed video of the image capture.
Jamie is an amateur astronomer and every day space geek.