First Multi-wavelength Images of an Exoplanet

Colors are important in astronomy. They can be used to get a quick feel for the temperature of stars, map out hydrogen alpha, or even find oxygen when it gives off a distinctive green glow from the forbidden transistion. Yet thus far, all images of exoplanets have only been taken in a single color filter leaving astronomers with a flat picture and no understanding of the color of a planet. A new paper corrects this oversight while analyzing the polarization of reflected starlight to develop an understanding of the characteristics of the planet’s atmosphere.

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(C) jvois for Universe Today, 2011. | Permalink | 4 comments | Add to Post

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