January 18th, 2009

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Planets in Visible Light

Astronomers are now spotting some extrasolar planets using the visible light spectrum:

Our First Glimpse of an Alien World
Achieving a feat that seemed impossible not so long ago, a team of scientists working with the Hubble Space Telescope captured the first visible-light image of a planet orbiting another star (above and inset). On the same day as this announcement, last November 14, came the report of a related breakthrough using the ground-based Gemini and Keck observatories in Hawaii, with which astronomers captured the first infrared image of three planets orbiting a star.