Zooming In On The Star Tau Boötis

June 27, 2012

This zoom sequence starts with a wide view of the constellation of Bootes (The Herdsman) and the closes in on the star Tau Bootis, which is visible to the unaided eye as an unremarkable point of light in the southern part of the constellation. This star harbours one of the closest exoplanets, and one of the first to be found, in 1996. Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope have caught and studied the faint light from the planet Tau Boötis b for the first time. By employing a clever observational trick the team find that the planet’s atmosphere seems to be cooler higher up, the opposite of what was expected.  Credit:  ESO/A. Fujii/Digitized Sky Survey

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