First ever image of a multi-planet system around a Sun-like star (uncropped, with annotations)
This image, captured by the SPHERE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope, shows the star TYC 8998-760-1 accompanied by two giant exoplanets, TYC 8998-760-1b and TYC 8998-760-1c. This is the first time astronomers have directly observed more than one planet orbiting a star similar to the Sun.
The two planets are visible as two bright dots in the centre (TYC 8998-760-1b) and bottom right (TYC 8998-760-1c) of the frame, noted by arrows. Other bright dots, which are background stars, are visible in the image as well. By taking different images at different times, the team were able to distinguish the planets from the background stars.
The image was captured by blocking the light from the young, Sun-like star (top-left of centre) using a coronagraph, which allows for the fainter planets to be detected. The bright and dark rings we see on the star’s image are optical artefacts.Credit:
ESO/Bohn et al.
About the Image
|Release date:||22 July 2020, 15:00|
|Size:||990 x 990 px|
About the Object
|Type:||Milky Way : Star : Circumstellar Material : Planetary System|
Colours & filters
|2.11 μm||Very Large Telescope|
|1.19 μm||Very Large Telescope|