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First Image Of Planet-Like Body Orbiting A Star
SpacePosted by timothy on Monday January 07, @10:15PM
from the won't-be-the-last dept.
deglr6328 writes "The Gemini North Telescope has, for the first time, directly imaged a planet like body orbiting a star. The object is a brown dwarf, 55 to 78 times the mass of planet Jupiter and 14 AU distant from its parent star 15 Sge. It was imaged using adaptive optics(see also here) that correct for the blurring effect of the atmosphere using deformable mirrors. Cool!"

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  • First Image Of Planet-Like Body Orbiting A Star | Login/Create an Account | Top | 120 comments | Search Discussion
    The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
    Hmmm.... (Score:4, Funny)
    by cporter on Monday January 07, @10:17PM (#2802219)
    (User #61382 Info)
    Is that a Starbuck's I can see on the high-res JPEG?
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    • 1 reply beneath your current threshold.
    "Cool!" (Score:1)
    by Stone Rhino on Monday January 07, @10:18PM (#2802228)
    (User #532581 Info | http://slashdot.org/ | Last Journal: Sunday December 16, @05:19PM)
    Couldn't have said it better myself.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Nice link to images, too (Score:2)
    by Tri0de (Bassist@techie.com) on Monday January 07, @10:22PM (#2802241)
    (User #182282 Info)
    while you're there

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    • 1 reply beneath your current threshold.
    Planet-like bodies (Score:5, Funny)
    by 6EQUJ5 on Monday January 07, @10:24PM (#2802249)
    (User #446008 Info | http://www.randi.org/)

    I say we name it "Rosie" or "Oprah"....
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Saw this earlier today (Score:2, Interesting)
    by Karl Cocknozzle (kcocknozzle@nOspaM.hotmail.com) on Monday January 07, @10:30PM (#2802266)
    (User #514413 Info | http://slashdot.org/)
    Even though the "photograph" is of just two fuzzy blobs it's cool nonetheless, especially that the first thing photographed should be celestial object that we don't have in our solar system that also happens to simultaneously prove that there have to be numerous ways that solar systems are "born" in the wake of a star's formation.

    One wonders if the cosmic soup had simmered a little more or a little less if Jupiter wouldn't be a binary star. How would it affect sleep patterns? What the hell would our watches look like?
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
      Re:Saw this earlier today (Score:4, Insightful)
      by CaptainCarrot (c[ ]ica@ihwy.com ['sern' in gap]) on Monday January 07, @10:47PM (#2802325)
      (User #84625 Info)
      One wonders if the cosmic soup had simmered a little more or a little less if Jupiter wouldn't be a binary star. How would it affect sleep patterns? What the hell would our watches look like?

      Would we even be here?

      Considering the climactic history of Earth, it's clear that even small perturbations in its orbit and small changes in the brightness of the Sun have large effects on the climate. In a binary star system, its not at all clear that any planetary climates would ever be steady enough to allow higher life forms to develop. Neither the orbit nor the energy received from the suns would likely be stable enough.

      [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    • 1 reply beneath your current threshold.
    Fuzzy little 'planet' (Score:4, Funny)
    by Nick Smith (nsmitEULERh@nla.gov.au minus math_god) on Monday January 07, @10:30PM (#2802267)
    (User #321087 Info | http://www.digital.org.au/)
    Are they absolutely sure someone didn't sneeze on the lens?

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Whats a Brown Dwarf... (Score:2)
    by halo8 (JImmyDukes@NoSpam.hotmail.com) on Monday January 07, @10:30PM (#2802268)
    (User #445515 Info | http://www.members.home.com/jimmydukes)
    a Brown Dwarf is said to be Classified Less massive [sciam.com]than stars but more massive than planets,
    brown dwarfs. so.. at 78 times the size of jupiter how massive is massive? and how massive is it not massive compared to a star?
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Distance between Uranus and the sun (Score:2, Funny)
    by Ydna (andrew@@@sweger...net) on Monday January 07, @10:30PM (#2802269)
    (User #32354 Info | http://sweger.net/~andrew/ | Last Journal: Sunday August 19, @07:35AM)
    The distance between the substellar object known as brown dwarf and its parent star is less than that between the planet Uranus and the sun.
    Wait a minute, I thought the brown dwarf was 14 AU from its star, not 1 AU. Oh, I see. Sorry for the confusion.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Old news... (Score:1, Troll)
    by tunah on Monday January 07, @10:32PM (#2802273)
    (User #530328 Info | http://tunah.net/)
    This is old news and i think i've seen it posted on slashdot before. You people don't get out much, do you. A star-orbiting was sighted a long time ago, when Adam made headlines by saying "Huh? Whats that thing under my feet". It has been known to be revolving around a star since the time of Copernicus and people have been making pictures of bits of it for centuries.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Now here's what's funny ... (Score:1)
    by dmarcov on Monday January 07, @10:36PM (#2802295)
    (User #461598 Info | http://slashdot.org/)
    I had a high school physics teacher that was a bit of a bible thumper (no offense to any thumpers out there) who insisted that we would /never/ find planets (or planet like objects)in other solar systems. It was impossible, because . Something about proof denying faith, and without faith God being nothing ... oh wait -- that was someone else.

    I'd love to talk with him now ...
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Not a planet, a star (Score:1, Insightful)
    by chrislike on Monday January 07, @10:53PM (#2802341)
    (User #134650 Info)
    A brown dwarf, especially one that much larger than jupiter is not a planet, but is a star.

    So this isn't a planet orbiting a star, but would better be described as two starts orbiting each other, much like Alpha Centauri proxima (the dwarf one)
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
      Well...neither really (Score:4, Informative)
      by xX_sticky_Xx on Monday January 07, @11:03PM (#2802370)
      (User #526967 Info)
      Like the article says, brown dwarves cannot be considered stars since they do not generate energy from a thermonuclear reaction. Having said that though, they DO give off more energy than they receive from outside sources, much like Jupiter does but on a far larger scale. A good primer site for brown dwarves can be found here [bahnhof.se].

      Lastly, it is important to not confuse brown dwarves (almost stars) with white dwarves (dying stars).
      [ [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    I've gone colour-blind! (Score:2)
    by ukryule on Monday January 07, @11:05PM (#2802375)
    (User #186826 Info | http://www.yule.org/)
    The object is a brown dwarf

    Doesn't look that brown to me!

    Then again, I believe that black holes aren't that black either ... :-)
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    ummm, excuse me... (Score:5, Informative)
    by anzha on Monday January 07, @11:16PM (#2802405)
    (User #138288 Info | http://slashdot.org/)

    What ever happene dto Gliese 229?

    That was imaged back quite a while ago by a caltech team.

    I found papers about it at Jean Schnieder's webpage [obspm.fr], but not a listing...

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
      Re: Mod up. (Score:5, Informative)
      by deglr6328 on Monday January 07, @11:38PM (#2802461)
      (User #150198 Info)
      Someone needs to mod the above up; it's important. I would have rephrased the post to reflect that this was NOT the first image of a brown dwarf orbiting a star if I knew about it before I submitted the comment.

      On closer examination, the Gemini North press release [gemini.edu] does not claim to be the first to image a brown dwarf; from the site:"The faint companion is separated from its parent star by less than the distance between the Sun and the planet Uranus and is the smallest separation brown dwarf companion seen with direct imaging". It is only the CNN story that incorrectly claims this.....Hmmmm perhaps a notification [badastronomy.com] is in order.
      [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    • Re:ummm, excuse me... by TMB (Score:2) Tuesday January 08, @01:36AM
    Time-lapse pictures (Score:1)
    by Caractacus Potts on Monday January 07, @11:18PM (#2802414)
    (User #74726 Info)
    Until we see it moving around that other star in an ellipse, it's just some bright pixels next to some other bright pixels. Hopefully, in a few months, we'll get to see some relative motion from it.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Telescopes have improved (Score:3)
    by oni on Monday January 07, @11:25PM (#2802427)
    (User #41625 Info | http://slashdot.org/)
    I still have a high-school science book that states "a star will appear as a single point of light even in the largest telescopes"
    Now we can see surface features on stars and even objects orbiting them. Pretty cool. Imagine what an orbiting interferometer will do!
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Please Oh Please... (Score:2, Funny)
    by Nathdot (GOD@rest.com) on Tuesday January 08, @12:04AM (#2802515)
    (User #465087 Info)
    ...Won't someone go to the effort of making a pun involving the words "brown dwarf" and "uranus"!

    I am almost certain it can be done. Someone out there must have the technology.

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    First what? Please, check your notes (Score:2, Informative)
    by [rvr] (rvr{at}infoastro.com) on Tuesday January 08, @12:07AM (#2802522)
    (User #93881 Info | http://www.infoastro.com | Last Journal: Wednesday September 26, @07:18AM)
    As you can read, as far as 1995, the Hubble Space Telescope imaged a brown dwarf orbiting a brown dwarf on Gliese 229B [stsci.edu]. Indeed, some of the US media call it "the first discovered brown-dwarf" although the discoverer was Rafael Rebolo et al at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias [www.iac.es] (he and his colleagues proposed the "Lithium test" method to actually detect this substellar objetcts). You can read a short report about brown dwarf findings at American Scientist [sigmaxi.org].
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    huble space telescope obsolite? (Score:3, Interesting)
    by autopr0n on Tuesday January 08, @12:50AM (#2802602)
    (User #534291 Info | http://autopr0n.com/)
    adaptive optics have the ablity to create images at the same resolution of the Huble space telescope. I wonder what this means for it's future. Seems kinda pointless now.

    ( I submitted an artical about it to slashdot a month or so ago, but it was rejected..)
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    So... (Score:1)
    by Simon Garlick on Tuesday January 08, @01:07AM (#2802629)
    (User #104721 Info | http://www.nzgames.com/)
    They're admitting that it's all done with mirrors?
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Dwarves in space? (Score:1)
    by cliffy2000 on Tuesday January 08, @01:19AM (#2802649)
    (User #185461 Info)
    Someone finally launched Tom Cruise into orbit.
    Sorry. That was a height-insensitive joke. My apologies.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    More on adaptive optics... (Score:1)
    by lanclos on Tuesday January 08, @02:15AM (#2802753)
    (User #150352 Info | http://loungenet.org/)
    ...from the people that are co-ordinating AO research across the country:

    http://cfao.ucolick.org/ [ucolick.org]
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Somewhat misleading title... (Score:1)
    by CarbonJackson on Tuesday January 08, @02:32AM (#2802788)
    (User #540580 Info | http://slashdot.org/)
    ...unless pictures of earth don't count.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Nasa Image Of Star-Like Body Within Solar System (Score:2)
    by Alsee on Tuesday January 08, @02:36AM (#2802792)
    (User #515537 Info | http://slashdot.org/)
    The object is a planet, 1/55 to 1/78 the mass of a brown dwarf. View the photo [nasa.gov].

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    the technical article (Score:1)
    by awhoward on Tuesday January 08, @02:51AM (#2802815)
    (User #108214 Info)
    the abstract for the technical article is already on the preprint servers. it's much better than the cnn article, for the technically trained. (the complete article was temporarily withdrawn, but they tell you how to get it.) see http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/astro-ph/0112407
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re:Ahhh so far away. (Score:1)
    by catsidhe (sigma.rie@net@au) on Monday January 07, @10:31PM (#2802271)
    (User #454589 Info)
    Yes, but only 57.7 years into the past in this case. Still...
    That Brown Dwarf is now getting our radio and TV broadcasts from early 1945.

    Sit back and think for a second about what it is still to receive. Mmmm, I Love Lucy...
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re:Let me get this straight... (Score:2)
    by Peyna ({moc.yticrolrap} {ta} {anyep}) on Monday January 07, @11:18PM (#2802415)
    (User #14792 Info | http://www.parlorcity.com)
    Oh never mind, I won't bother. I was going to try to explain the significance of space research, etc. For one thing, Galileo was one of the first to challenge that the Bible does not have to be the be all end all of science, and that man can learn more on his own by observing. Without telescopes and people looking at stars, we would be alot far behind where we are today, and who knows where it will bring us. It just might help unify the people of the earth some day, and then you'll be the fool for telling us it was foolish of us to discuss such things when people are dying.

    By the way, while you are on your campaign to protect innocent lives, you better take on drunk drivers, pollution, serial killers, cigarettes (maybe not innocent, but still..) AIDs victims (especially in '3rd world countries'), etc. You better get moving.

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re:'corrected,' eh? (Score:3)
    by sam_handelman (skh2003@NoSPAM.columbia.edu) on Monday January 07, @11:29PM (#2802435)
    (User #519767 Info | http://slashdot.org/)
    so they drew it in, right? i can do that too! look, planets!

    It is not quite that bad. This link here is really nice [llnl.gov]. I'm putting in a plug for my old alma-mater (go slugs.)

    Yeah, the pictures are pretty (awesome, if real) but I'm going to wait for pictures from the Hubble (which had better be forthcoming!) before I'm totally persuaded.

    That said - 58 light years? That's a long trip, but totally possible.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re:I dont get it... (Score:1)
    by toby360 on Tuesday January 08, @01:11AM (#2802637)
    (User #524944 Info)
    "you need to learn to crawl before you can walk."
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
  • 25 replies beneath your current threshold.
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