How large a tele­scope was needed to im­age an ex­o­planet?

BBC Earth (Asia) - - Q&a -

The first-ever im­age of a planet be­yond the So­lar Sys­tem was taken in 2005 by as­tronomers us­ing the Euro­pean South­ern Ob­ser­va­tory’s Very Large Tele­scope (VLT) in Chile. Known as 2M1207b, the planet is about 1.5 times big­ger than Jupiter and around 170 light-years away. It was de­tected us­ing one of the VLT’s four gi­gan­tic te­le­scopes, whose light-gath­er­ing mir­rors are an im­pres­sive 8.2 me­tres across.

RM

The ESO Very Large Tele­scope is lo­cated in the Ata­cama Desert, Chile

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