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Press Release 08-204

Planetary "First Family" Discovered By Astronomers Using Gemini and Keck Observatories

First direct images of a planetary familly around a normal star observed

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Artist's conception of the multiple planet system, initially discovered with Gemini North optics.

Artist's conception of the multiple planet system, initially discovered with Gemini North adaptive optics images.

Credit: Gemini Observatory Artwork by Lynette Cook


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Gemini Observatory discovery image using the Altair adaptive optics system on Gemini North.

Gemini Observatory discovery image using the Altair adaptive optics system on the Gemini North telescope with the Near-Infrared Imager. The image shows two of the three confirmed planets indicated as "b" and "c" on the image below: "b" is the ~7 Jupiter-mass planet orbiting at about 70 AU; planet "c" is the ~10 Jupiter-mass planet orbiting the star at about 40 AU. Due to the brightness of the central star, it has been blocked and appears blank in this image to increase visibility of the planets.

Credit: Gemini Observatory


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