Astronomers catch first light from alien planet

Published on Mar 24, 2005 08:03 PM IST

Little more than a decade after they first divined the existence of planets orbiting other stars, astronomers report another breakthrough ? the first detection of infrared light from an alien world.

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HT Image
PTI | ByAFP, Paris

Little more than a decade after they first divined the existence of planets orbiting other stars, astronomers report another breakthrough — the first detection of infrared light from an alien world.

So far, a total of 145 planets beyond our solar system — known as exoplanets — have been spotted since 1994, according to a tally compiled by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Nearly all of these planets have been discovered indirectly.

In other words, they are not directly visible but their existence can be determined thanks to a wobble in stellar light when they pass in front of their star. 

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