Direct observation of planets orbiting young star

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This movie reveals four planets, each more massive than Jupiter, orbiting the young star HR 8799. Direct images of this planetary system were taken over several years, and the black circle at the centre of the image shows part of the efforts to block out the blinding light of the central star.

The footage is not in real time, instead it is a composite of images taken over years. The inner most planet will complete one full orbit of the central star in about 40 years, whereas it will take the outermost star more than 400 years.


Christian Marois of Canada’s Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics and Jason Wang from Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS).