Incredible Animations Show Real Exoplanets Orbiting Their Stars – Gizmodo

The animations all come from direct imaging methods, meaning that the telescopes measure the Jupiter-sized planets directly. So-called “Hot Jupiters” are so young that they still emanate infrared light, said Wang. “They formed after the dinosaurs.”

The top video shows Beta Pictoris b orbiting the 40-million-year-old star Beta Pictoris. The planet looks like it’s diving into the star because the Gemini Planet Imager on the Gemini South Telescope in Chile observed the star head on.


Meanwhile, the gif above shows four planets orbiting the 60 million year old star HR 8799, around 130 light years away, as seen by the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii. The planets might even be in resonance with each other, meaning their gravity causes them to move in harmony, Wang told the Lunar and Planetary Institute-supported blog, Many Worlds.

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