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ESOcast 18: Exoplanet Caught on the Move

10 Jun 2010, 18:00 UTC
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For the first time, astronomers have been able to directly follow the motion of an exoplanet as it moves to the other side of its host star. The planet has the smallest orbit so far of all directly imaged exoplanets, lying as close to its host star as Saturn is to the Sun. Scientists believe that it may have formed in a similar way to the giant planets in the Solar System. This discovery proves that gas giant planets can form within discs in only a few million years, a short time in cosmic terms.

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