First ever image of a multi-planet system around a Sun-like star (uncropped, without annotations)

This image, captured by the SPHERE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope, shows the star TYC 8998-760-1 accompanied by two giant exoplanets, TYC 8998-760-1b and TYC 8998-760-1c. This is the first time astronomers have directly observed more than one planet orbiting a star similar to the Sun.

The two planets are visible as two bright dots in the centre (TYC 8998-760-1b) and bottom right (TYC 8998-760-1c) of the frame. Other bright dots, which are background stars, are visible in the image as well. By taking different images at different times, the team were able to distinguish these planets from the background stars.   

The image was captured by blocking the light from the young, Sun-like star (top-left of centre) using a coronagraph, which allows for the fainter planets to be detected. The bright and dark rings we see on the star’s image are optical artefacts.


About the Image

Id: eso2011c
Type: Observation
Release date: 22 July 2020, 15:00
Related releases: eso2011
Size: 990 x 990 px

About the Object

Name: TYC 8998-760-1
Type: Milky Way : Star : Circumstellar Material : Planetary System
Constellation: Musca
Category: Exoplanets


Position (RA): 13 25 12.04
Position (Dec): -64&deg 56′ 21.07″
Field of view: 0.08 x 0.08 arcminutes
Orientation: North is -0.0° left of vertical

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