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InMotion

Last updated: Thursday, 10 June 18:28 GMT
This video sequence shows an artist's impression of the disc and the planet around the young star Beta Pictoris (c) ESO/L. Calcada

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Following the motion of an exoplanet

— 10 Jun 2010 | Astronomy

For the first time, astronomers have been able to directly follow the motion of an exoplanet as it moves from one side of its host star to the other. The planet has the smallest orbit so far of all directly imaged exoplanets, lying almost as close to its parent star as Saturn is to the Sun. Scientists believe that it may have formed in a similar way to the giant planets in the Solar System. Because the star is so young, this discovery proves that gas giant planets can form within discs in only a few million years, a short time in cosmic terms. This research was presented in a paper to appear this week in Science Express…


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