The First-Ever Direct Image of an Exoplanet

These images show exoplanet HIP 65426 b in different wavelengths of infrared light, as seen from the James Webb Space Telescope: Purple—NIRCam at 3.00 micrometers, Blue—NIRCam at 4.44 micrometers, Yellow—MIRI instrument’s at 11.4 micrometers, and Red—MIRI instrument at 15.5 micrometers. A set of optical masks called a coronagraph in each instrument were used to block the host star’s light so that the planet could be seen. The host star HIP 65426 has been subtracted using the coronagraphs and image processing. Its location is indicated by the white “stars” in each image. The bar shapes in the NIRCam images are artifacts of the telescope’s optics, not objects in the scene.

Image Credits: NASA / ESA / CSA / A Carter (UCSC) / ERS 1386 team / A. Pagan (STScI)

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