Smallest Visible Exoplanet Is Still Twice As Big As Jupiter
51 Eridani b is the smallest exoplanet we’ve ever obtained direct images of, and it could help explain how star systems form their attendant planets.By Evan Thomas | August 14, 2015
Exoplanet 51 Eridani b just set a record. It’s the smallest planet we've managed to take a direct image of, despite being twice the size of Jupiter.
To find 51 Eridani b, scientists used the Gemini Planet Imager to look at the planet’s infrared emissions. (Video via Gemini Observatory)
This is no small task, given the distances involved, the interference from our own atmosphere and the fact the planet is a million times dimmer than its star.