Spitzer Telescope detects light from distant Planets.
First light seen from an extrasolar planet.
NASA's Spitzer telescope has detected the light from distant planets for the first time. Until now, extrasolar planets have only been discovered indirectly, by the effect of their gravity on their parent star. Astronomers first detected two planets using indirect methods, and then used Spitzer to perform followup observation with its Infrared instruments. They detected the difference in star brightness when the planet was in front and behind the star, and were able to calculate how much of this light was supplied by the planet.
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