Giant exoplanet imaged live thanks to star mapping data (photos)

New exoplanet HIP 99770 b (circled) is seen orbiting its host star in these images by Japan’s Subaru Telescope. Data from the European star-mapping spacecraft Gaia has revealed the possibility of a large exoplanet in this system. (Image credit: T. Currie (Subaru/UTSA))

Astronomers have directly detected and imaged a gas giant orbiting another star by combining different exoplanet-hunting techniques.

The researchers first looked at a catalog of star mapping data collected from the European Space Agency (ESA). Jaya and the elderly hipparcus missions to determine which stars, based on their apparent motions or vibrations, are most likely to orbit – and therefore potentially visible – giant planets.

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