Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Stuff of Textbooks

Occasionally someone somewhere takes a picture and it turns out to be famous. Usually these famous pictures end up in a textbook somewhere. Here is one picture that will probably end up in a textbook sometime soon because it is after all a very famous and important picture (the first of its kind):
Some of you (if not all) have seen this already. But if you have not then what's important about this picture is not the bright thing in the middle but the small dot at the top. You have probably guessed that thing in the middle is a star (very much like the sun) and the other dot (if it is confirmed) is a planet. So this is the first (optical range) picture of an extra-solar planet. The originating paper can be found here. The astronomy picture of the day here (with many other links). The team of astronomers used atmosphere correcting optics to compensate for the ground based telescopes to resolve the two bodies.

So this already turned up in the news (BBC) and will most likely make its way into the next edition of astronomy textbooks. Kudos to the guys that took that picture. Personally I think it would be cool to have a picture I took put into a textbook (that is other than one that I wrote myself).


  1. That really is a phenomenal achievement. I'm guessing that in a decade or two there will be similar pictures of earth-like planets. It's a big universe and sooner or later we just might find some new real estate.

  2. That is an amazing picture. I really am grateful to live in such a day.


To add a link to text:
<a href="URL">Text</a>