Actual and Artist Images of Exoplanets

Extrasolar planets or for short exoplanets have been found in orbit around many different star systems other than ours. Exoplanets are being found all the time but take a look at this database of exoplanets for an idea on their characteristics.

An actual image has been shot sometime back of an exoplanet but as you can see you might as well be looking at a pixel on a TV screen or computer which is not that exciting. When thinking about exoplanets artists minds have gone wild and lots of pictures of imaginary exoplanets have been created to fill this imaginary void.

A Real Image of an Exoplanet

A Real Image of an Exoplanet

The image was taken by the Hubble space telescope by blocking out the stars light so that the exoplanet could be seen. The star is Formalhaut which is easily visible to the unaided eye. The exoplanet is called Formalhaut b. Not a fantastic name but it means it is a planet around the star Formalhaut the b meaning that it is the planet closest to the Sun. This system letters the planets from the inner to the outer but letter a is not used.

The image below has been directly taken of two planets (labelled B and C) orbiting the star HR8799 by the Gemini North eight meter telescope. You can see from the picture that the Starlight has been blocked allowing us to see the two white dots which are the planets. The star is about 130 ly away but is very bright. The planets are orbiting the star at 3.6 billion miles and 6.3 billion miles respectively. A third planet was found later on but is not shown in the image. This is the first planetary system to be directly imaged.

Actual Image of the Star HR 8799 and Its Two Planets

Actual Image of the Star HR 8799 and Its Two Planets

Here are some artist renderings of the star GJ876 (Gliese) and its outer planets which have masses of 2.5 and 0.8 that of Jupiter. Don’t forget that one Jupiter mass is about 318 Earth masses and therefore these are huge planets. The inner planet which is a little like ours but a lot bigger is thought to have a mass about 7.5 Earth masses. In the exoplanet scientific circles it is called a super Earth and may well contain life.

GJ 876 's Earth like Planet

GJ 876 's Earth like Planet

An artist rendering of a close-up of the Earth like planet around GJ876.

Close-Up of the Earth like Planet around GJ 876

Close-Up of the Earth like Planet around GJ 876

Could we be in orbit around GJ876′s earthlike planet one-day?

GJ 876 's Earth like Planet

GJ 876 's Earth like Planet

Here’s a fly through of the Gliese planetary system. It’s a little old but gives an idea of what the system is probably like.

lots of Jupiter like planets have been found around other stars. They have been given the nickname hot Jupiter’s because they orbit so close to their parent star. These were the most likely type of planets to be found as they are so huge. It is thought that these planets may have migrated from the outer part of their planetary system eventually forming a very tight orbit with its star.

A Hot Jupiter Exoplanet

A Hot Jupiter Exoplanet

One day we will not need artist renderings as a probe will transmit actual images back to us but hopefully by a method that doesn’t take thousands of years!

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  1. benjamin says:

    I’m intrigued to hear your view’s on the the Mayan’s predictions of the ending of an age, and the need to preserve this message in a calendrical form… .?. And what of those whom conspire of 2012 and the entrance of the exoplanet they called Nibiru?

    IMAGINE THIS: The majority of your body’s made of water, your Soulful energies survive this, you think, wonder then eventually do evaporate yourself, and so you don’t get caught up in the cloud cycle an end up watering the earth from which you rose from, you chose to be released into the Higher Domain (The latter being when humanity no longer want’s to explore space, but to travel straight through it, of course when nuclear propulsion methods have been implemented along with greater manoeuverabilities, then through the eye you will see)

  2. Chris Dann says:

    2012 is just another one of those conspiracy theories/hoaxes.

    Unfortunately people do not like to spend time searching for the facts but take the easy option and believe the first thing that they see.

    Here’s the facts-

    http://astrobiology.nasa.gov/ask-an-astrobiologist/intro/nibiru-and-doomsday-2012-questions-and-answers

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