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Artists Concept of Exoplanet HR 8799b
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Artist's Concept of Exoplanet HR 8799b

April 4, 2009
This is an artistic illustration of the giant planet HR 8799b.

The planet was first discovered in 2007 at the Gemini North observatory. It was identified in the NICMOS archival data in a follow-up search of NICMOS archival data to see if Hubble had also serendipitously imaged it.

The planet is young and hot, at a temperature of 1500 degrees Fahrenheit. It is slightly larger than Jupiter and may be at least seven times more massive.

Analysis of the NICMOS data suggests the planet has water vapor in its atmosphere and is only partially cloud covered. It is not known if the planet has rings or moons, but circumplanetary debris is common among the outer planets of our solar system.



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