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Starts With A Bang

Watch: Four gas giants in orbit around another star for the first time

The outer three can even be seen with a small, 1.5 meter telescope.

This 2010 picture of three of the four known exoplanets orbiting HR 8799 represents the first time a telescope this small — less than a full-grown human being — was used to directly image an exoplanet. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Palomar Observatory.

When telescopes like JWST and GMT come online, we can start imaging the nearest Earth-like planets, and gas giants many hundreds of light years away.

A side-view of the completed GMT as it will look in the telescope enclosure. It will be able to image Earth-like worlds out to 30 light years away, and Jupiter-like worlds many hundreds of light years distant. Image credit: Giant Magellan Telescope — GMTO Corporation.

Mostly Mute Monday tells a story about our Universe in pictures, animations and no more than 200 words.

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