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Space

First Image of a Planet Orbiting a Sun-Like Star 131

Several readers including houbou and DigitumDei sent links to what may be the first-ever image of a planet orbiting a sun-like star (research paper). The giant planet, the mass of 8 Jupiters, orbits its star at 330 AU, or 11 times the distance to Neptune's orbit. If the imaged object does turn out to be a planet — and it's not certain it is — then theories of planet formation may have to be adjusted. "The bulk of the material from which planets might form is significantly closer to the parent star... The outermost parts of such disks wouldn't contain enough material to assemble a Jupiter-mass planet at the distance from the star... at which the Toronto team found the faint object."

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