Astronomers have for the first time demonstrated directly what was known inferentially to be true:
NRC astronomer Dr. Christian Marois and an international team of researchers are the first to capture images of three planets circling a star other than the Earth’s Sun.
Using high-powered telescopes to capture these images, the team then identified three planets larger than Jupiter orbiting a star known as HR 8799. This star is 130 light years from Earth in the constellation of Pegasus. It is faintly visible to the naked eye.
“We have known for a decade through indirect techniques that the Sun was not the only star to have planets in orbit around it,” said Dr. Marois of the NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics in Victoria, B.C. “We finally have an actual image of an entire solar system. This is a milestone in the search for planetary systems around stars.”
It’d be neat to take a closer look, if only we could only learn to cheat the physics.