Sometimes we take our place in the universe just a tad for granted. As humans, we tend to be just a bit self centered, forgetting that we are really just part of a vast cosmic entity. Are we alone? Who knows, but we just got one step closer to that answer.
It seems that for the first time, scientists have actually photographed planets orbiting not just around one, but two stars. While we have known since about 1995 that there are other planets ("exoplanets") that orbit other stars, detecting them has been done by very indirect means. Now, the holy grail of planetary astronomy has been achieved, actually being able to see these planets with a telescope. Hubble was one of the one's used:
Yep, that little dot in the circle is a planet orbiting the star Fomalhaut. It's apparently just a baby planet, only 60 million years old, in a star system only 25 light-years away. This is practically around the block in astronomical terms. Read the article for the information on the other star and its three, count 'em three planets, that orbit it.
So get your hyperdrive engines tuned up, we're taking a road trip to Fomalhaut! Oh, and bring something to snack on please, and go to the bathroom first.
spring flowers - I am quite fond of this series of Wildflowers of Canada that came out in 1977 and try to collect as many as I can from my stamp dealer to use for Postcross...
4 days ago