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Science. 2008 Nov 28;322(5906):1348-52. doi: 10.1126/science.1166585. Epub 2008 Nov 13.

Direct imaging of multiple planets orbiting the star HR 8799.

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  • 1National Research Council Canada, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, 5071 West Saanich Road, Victoria, BC V9E 2E7, Canada. christian.marois@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

Abstract

Direct imaging of exoplanetary systems is a powerful technique that can reveal Jupiter-like planets in wide orbits, can enable detailed characterization of planetary atmospheres, and is a key step toward imaging Earth-like planets. Imaging detections are challenging because of the combined effect of small angular separation and large luminosity contrast between a planet and its host star. High-contrast observations with the Keck and Gemini telescopes have revealed three planets orbiting the star HR 8799, with projected separations of 24, 38, and 68 astronomical units. Multi-epoch data show counter clockwise orbital motion for all three imaged planets. The low luminosity of the companions and the estimated age of the system imply planetary masses between 5 and 13 times that of Jupiter. This system resembles a scaled-up version of the outer portion of our solar system.

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PMID:
19008415
[PubMed]
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