Images: NASA looks back on 2008
New planet discovered
In November, astronomers announced they'd spotted a giant planet orbiting a star located about 25 light-years from Earth. The exoplanet, called Fomalhaut b, was found with images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. It marked the first time astronomers have seen a planet orbiting a star outside our solar system.
The Fomalhaut system is in the constellation Piscis Australis or "Southern Fish." The discovery in the 1980s of an excessive amount of dust in the Fomalhaut system indicated it was a likely place for a planet to be found. The planet itself is estimated to be no more than three times Jupiter's mass.
December 19, 2008 3:57 PM PST
Photo by: A. Fujii, NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay (STScI)
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