First View of an Alien World

Astronomer Carl Sagan once described planet Earth as a “pale blue dot” when viewed from space.  It should probably come as no surprise that the closest view we can get of other planets outside our solar system also come with a faint and pale view.  The picture above is of star 1RSX J160929.1-210524 and a planet in it’s orbit.  It’s estimated the planet is of massive proportions, say about 8 times the size of Jupiter and probably a gas giant.  It’s also 300 times farther away from it’s star than planet Earth is from our sun.  The planet was actually first discovered in 2008 but only further observation revealed that it was indeed in the star’s orbit.  This makes it the first direct photo of an alien planet.

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