Specks of Light in the Cosmos

Universe Today has published an update on the planets that have been found orbiting star HR 8799. Using the Keck telescope and some amazing and incredibly detailed processing Astronomers have been able to gain an even greater insight into the make up of the HR 8799 system.

All the planets discovered so far are huge: the smallest being approximately five times the size of Jupiter. None of them are even close to being habitable. The amazing thing to me is this image.

Isn’t that amazing? That’s right – you’re looking at a direct image of planets around another star. An astronomical observation of a different planetary system.

I somehow missed the original reports on this. So I am glad to catch up on it. That image alone is just incredible. I have to wonder just how long it will be before we can detect planets that are truly Earth-like – direct imaging of those can’t be far off.

All of which makes the proposal to cancel the James Webb Space Telescope programme so incredibly short sighted.

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