May 19th, 2014

Best View of Alien World

The Gemini Planet Imager took this best view yet of an alien world. Beta Pictorus b, several times the size of Jupiter, is more than 63 light-years from Earth and was captured in this 60-second exposure -- a degree in magnitude faster than previous instrument capability. The Planet Imager, which began construction a decade ago, is the next generation adaptive optics instrument at the Gemini South Telescope in Chile, and had its first light in January 2014.

Image: Gemini Planet Imager; Image processing by Christian Marois, NRC Canada

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