An international team of astronomers reports April 29 the confirmation of the discovery of a giant planet, approximately five times the mass of Jupiter, that is gravitationally bound to a young brown dwarf. This discovery puts an end to a yearlong discussion on the nature of this object, which started with the detection of a red object close to the brown dwarf.
In February and March of this year, the astronomers took new images of the young brown dwarf and its giant planet companion with the state-of-the-science NACO instrument on the European Southern Observatorys (ESO) Very Large Telescope in northern Chile. The planet is near the southern constellation of Hydra and approximately 200 light years from Earth.
"Our new images show convincingly that this really is a planet, the first planet that has ever been imaged outside of our solar system," said Gael Chauvin, astronomer at the ESO and leader of the team of astronomers who conducted the study.
Stuart Wolpert | EurekAlert!
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