Planet hidden in Hubble archives

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Planet hidden in Hubble archives

Postby Egaladeist » Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:33 am

A new way to process images reveals an extrasolar planet that had been hiding in an 11-year-old Hubble picture

Like tiny jewels not yet uncovered, a trove of previously unknown extrasolar planets — perhaps as many as 100 — await discovery in a vast archive of images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, the results of a new search technique suggest.

Using the new method, astronomers can more precisely model the amount and distribution of scattered light produced by young nearby stars suspected of spawning planets, and then subtract the light from images of those stars. Once the glare of the light from the parent stars is removed, young Jupiter-mass planets that emit faint but detectable amounts of heat may show up in images already taken by Hubble’s near-infrared camera.

http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic ... e_archives
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