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Subaru Telescope’s Imaging Discovery of a Second Jupiter Shows the Power and Significance of the SEEDS Project

| Science

Astronomers in the Strategic Explorations of Exoplanets and Disks with Subaru (SEEDS) Project have recently discovered and captured an image of the least massive planet ever imaged so far--a so-called “second Jupiter” (Figure). This discovery marks an important step toward the direct imaging of much fainter Earth-like planets in the future and may lead to new models of planet formation. It also illustrates the important role that the SEEDS Project plays in observational astronomy.

Figure
Near-infrared color composite images of a “second Jupiter” around the Sun-like star GJ 504. A coronagraph and differential techniques suppress the bright light from the central star. On the left is the intensity image, which shows the radiant power passing through the area, while on the right is the signal-to-noise ratio image, which shows the weakest signal that the detecting system can recognize. (Credit: NAOJ)

The scientific paper on which this article is based will appear in the Astrophysical Journal.
(Kuzuhara et al. 2013, “Direct Imaging of a Cold Jovian Exoplanet in Orbit around the Sun-like Star GJ 504”, The Astrophysical Journal, in press)

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