View Full Version : Gravitational Lens Reveals Distant Planet

2005-Sep-07, 05:03 AM
SUMMARY: Astronomers have watched how the gravity of a star bends the light from a more distant star to discover a Jupiter-sized planet orbiting it. The technique is called gravitational microlensing, and in this case, the astronomers carefully measured the brightness of a star 17,000 light-years away which was focusing the light from a star located 24,000 light-years away. They realized that there was a regular pattern of brightening and dimming which meant there were two objects working together to focus the light. Further calculations indicated that it was a planet with approximately the mass of Jupiter making the fluctuations.

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