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Astronomers directly image "super-Jupiter" exoplanet
Posted: Tue, Nov 20, 2012, 6:08 AM ET (1108 GMT)
Kappa And b illustration (NASA) Astronomers announced Monday they had directly imaged a massive extrasolar planet orbiting another star. Kappa Andromedae b has a mass 12.8 times that of Jupiter, placing it near the dividing line between planet and brown dwarf; astronomers call the world a "super-Jupiter" to cover both possibilities. The exoplanet orbits the star Kappa Andromedae, a B-class star 2.5 times the mass of the Sun 170 light-years away, at a distance of 55 AU. Astronomers observed the super-Jupiter using the Subaru Telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, at near-infrared wavelengths and by masking out the light from the star itself. The discovery suggests that large stars are also capable of hosting planetary systems.
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