Silk’s superpowers
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Middle school science adventures
Frogs and Toads
Poison Dart Frogs
New Elephant-Shrew
Roach Love Songs
Monkeys Count
Diving, Rolling, and Floating, Alligator Style
Supersonic Splash
Brain cells take a break
Chemistry and Materials
Gooey Secrets of Mussel Power
Hitting the redo button on evolution
Flytrap Machine
The Book of Life
The Shape of the Internet
Galaxies on the go
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Have shell, will travel
Meet your mysterious relative
The man who rocked biology to its core
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Life under Ice
Slower Growth, Greater Warmth
On the Trail of America's Next Top Scientists
Flu river
Island Extinctions
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
Finding the Past
Digging Up Stone Age Art
Traces of Ancient Campfires
Preserving Ancient Warrior Paint
Mako Sharks
Flashlight Fishes
Nurse Sharks
Food and Nutrition
Healing Honey
Food for Life
Symbols from the Stone Age
GSAT English Rules
Capitalization Rules
Who vs. That vs. Which
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
How are students placed after passing the GSAT exam
Mastering The GSAT Exam
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Mathematics
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
Secrets of an Ancient Computer
Human Body
Smiles Turn Away Colds
Cell Phone Tattlers
Workouts: Does Stretching Help?
Praying Mantis
Basset Hounds
Kodiak Bear
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
How children learn
The Pressure of Scuba Diving
IceCube Science
Road Bumps
Cactus Goo for Clean Water
Fungus Hunt
Pumping Up Poison Ivy
Komodo Dragons
Space and Astronomy
Cousin Earth
Galaxies Divide Sharply Along Color Lines
Witnessing a Rare Venus Eclipse
Technology and Engineering
Smart Windows
Algae Motors
A Clean Getaway
The Parts of Speech
What is a Noun
What is a Verb?
Flying the Hyper Skies
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Revving Up Green Machines
Watering the Air
Recipe for a Hurricane
A Dire Shortage of Water
Add your Article

A Very Distant Planet Says "Cheese"

Distant planets tend to be pretty camera-shy.

Astronomers have found evidence of more than 125 planets around other stars in the universe, but no one has ever seen one directly. These planets are so faint they get lost in the glare of their parent star. Instead, astronomers have relied on indirect clues about how the planets affect nearby objects to pinpoint them.

Now, scientists may have finally snapped a photo of an extrasolar planet. It orbits a star 230 light-years from Earth. The star is a brown dwarf, a collapsed ball of gas that doesn’t give off light the way most stars do.

The planet is about 55 times as far from the star as Earth is from the sun. It also appears to be huge—about five times as massive as Jupiter.

To get the picture, astronomers from the European Southern Observatory used something called an adaptive-optics system on the Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Paranal, Chile. The system has a special mirror that keeps changing shape. The technology removes blurring caused by turbulence in our planet’s atmosphere.

Besides getting the planet’s image, the researchers were also able to determine that the object contains water vapor. That would make it too cool to be another star.

Next, the researchers plan to follow the movement of the object, to make sure it behaves like a true planet and orbits the star.—E. Sohn

A Very Distant Planet Says "Cheese"
A Very Distant Planet Says "Cheese"

Designed and Powered by™