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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Astronomical First As Ground Telescope Observes "Super-Earth"

• http://www.valuewalk.com-Brendan Byrne

The Double Earth-sized exoplanet was caught as it was crossing a star by The Nordic Optical Telescope in La Palma, one of the Canary Islands. This marks the first time when such a planet ("Super-Earth") was detected by a telescope based on the ground. The planet, 55 Cancri e, was confirmed in 2004 by a space-based telescope. But, this week's image capture marked the first time that an exoplanet has been seen from the earth due to issues with the Earth's atmosphere.

New technologies

"It's remarkable what we can do by pushing the limits of existing telescopes and instruments, despite the complications posed by the Earth's own turbulent atmosphere," said study co-author Ray Jayawardhana of York University. "Remote sensing across tens of light-years isn't easy, but it can be done with the right technique and a bit of ingenuity."

The study was led by Ernst de Mooij of Queen's University Belfast, United Kingdom and utilized a 2.5-meter Nordic Optical Telescope in order to view the planet.

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