Friday, July 2, 2010

Alien Planet

A very cool yet slightly obsure "first" but it's a first nonetheless.

From Discover...
So some people are saying this observation of 1RXS 1609b (500 light years away) is the first direct image of a planet orbiting a sun-like star taken by a telescope on Earth (Hubble is orbiting in space). I’ll grant that. And while that may seem a bit nit picky, it’s actually pretty cool.

Observing exoplanets from space is in some ways easier than from the ground, because there’s no air to screw up the image. It’s still incredibly hard, but easier. From the ground, though, there are techniques that improve the odds a lot. Still, these are very difficult observations and are a fantastic achievement.

I'm guessing I have zero chance of seeing this with my telescope.

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