Astronomers already know thousands of exoplanets, most of which are identified indirectly. Now, for the first time, astronomers are using the world’s largest optical telescope to directly observe a multiplanetary system orbiting a sun-like star. Astronomers used the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) to observe the sun-like star TYC 8998-760-1 300 light-years away.
Using VLT’s spectroscoe-polarized high-contrast exoplanet research instrument, astronomers observed two planets around the star. The study was published in the journal The Astrophysical Journal.
TYC 8998-760-1 is a very young star with a history of only 17 million years, compared with our sun with a history of 4.5 billion years.
The latest findings could help astronomers better understand the evolution of planetary systems. The two planets are 14 times the mass of Jupiter and 16 and 32 times the orbit distance of Saturn’s sun.