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News Release 10 of 85

January 7, 2014 10:15 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2014-08

STScI Astronomers Help Develop and Operate World's Most Powerful Planet Finder

An American Astronomical Society Meeting Release / A News Nugget Release

January 7, 2014: Space Telescope Science Institute astronomers have been involved in nearly a decade of development, construction, and testing of the world's most advanced instrument for directly photographing and analyzing planets around other stars. Called the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), the instrument will be used to photograph faint planets next to bright stars and probe their atmospheres, and to study dusty disks around young stars. GPI was used to image Beta Pictoris b, a planet orbiting the star Beta Pictoris. The bright star Beta Pictoris is hidden behind a mask in the center of the image that blocks out the glare of the central star.

For more information, visit Gemini Observatory's release at

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Image Credit: Image processing by C. Marois (NRC Canada)

Science Credit: NASA, Gemini Observatory, and M. Perrin (STScI/AURA)