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Space

First Reflected Light From an Exoplanet Seen 72

Roland Piquepaille writes "European astronomers have for the first time ever been able to detect and monitor the visible light that is scattered in the atmosphere of an exoplanet. Designated HD 189733b, also known as a 'hot Jupiter,' orbits a star slightly cooler and less massive than the Sun about 60 light-years from Earth. According to a Zurich news release, 'Polarization technique focuses limelight,' the researchers used 'techniques similar to how Polaroid sunglasses filter away reflected sunlight to reduce glare. They also directly traced the orbit of the planet, a feat of visualization not possible using indirect methods.' The team thinks that their findings are opening new opportunities for exploring physical conditions on exoplanets."

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