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Young Star with Planetary Companion

Artist’s rendition of the young star with its planetary companion

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Credit: P. Marenfeld and NOAO/AURA/NSF

Fibder chart

Finder chart in the sky for the first new planet discovered by the Exoplanet Tracker instrument at National Science Foundation’s Kitt Peak National Observatory.

An artist’s rendition shows a planet orbiting an very young, active star pocked with dark star spots and speckled with flares and other surface activity. A team led by a University of Florida astronomer announced on Wednesday the discovery of the planet orbiting a star just 600 million years old, one of the youngest stars ever found with a planetary companion. In a development expected to dramatically speed the hunt for planets in coming years, the astronomers used a new, more effective planet-finding instrument attached to a telescope at the Tucson-based Kitt Peak National Observatory to find the planet, located about 100 light years away in the constellation Virgo.

University of Florida Press Release

Image courtesy of P. Marenfeld and NOAO/AURA/NSF