In BriefFor the first time ever, ESO astronomers have been able to capture a clear image of a star system 11 quadrillion kilometers away using the combined forces of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile, the Keck Observatory in Hawaii, and the Calar Alto Observatory in Spain.
CVSO 30c Status Pending
For the first time, astronomers were able to capture a clear image of an exoplanet candidate, orbiting a star known as CVSO 30, which lies around 1,200 light-years away. If validated as an exoplanet, CVSO 30c would prove that CVSO 30 has two planets orbiting it.
European Southern Observatory (ESO) officials say this could be the first star system discovered to have both a close-in exoplanet and another one that is far-out. “If it is confirmed that CVSO 30c orbits CVSO 30, this would be the first star system to host both a close-in exoplanet detected by the transit method and a far-out exoplanet detected by direct imaging,” ESO officials.
In 2012, astronomers found the first exoplanet, CVSO 3b. They have found that this exoplanet is amazingly close to the star, roughly 1.2 million kilometers in distance — just 11 hours away.
On the other hand, the new exoplanet candidate orbiting it, CVSO 30c, is 98,730,000,000,000 kilometres (61,347,977,809,592 miles) away. This distance is 660 times the Earth’s distance from the sun. Given this fact, it means that one orbital period for this planet would take 27,000 years to complete, making astronomers uncertain whether the star is actually part of the star system. More observations would be necessary to confirm (or disprove) this.
“Astronomers are still exploring how such an exotic system came to form in such a short timeframe, as the star is only 2.5 million years old; it is possible that the two planets interacted at some point in the past, scattering off one another and settling in their current extreme orbits,” ESO officials said.
11,000,000,000,000,000-kilometer Stalker Range
While CVSO 30c’s status remains undecided, what’s really wonderful about the discovery is how impressive it is that we were able to get a clear image of worlds so far away from us — CVSO 30c is 11 quadrillion kilometers (7 quadrillion miles) away from Earth.
In numerical form, T! That’s 15 zeroes!
ESO researchers worked hard building the appropriately named Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile to make this happen. And that’s not even enough. They needed to combine forces with two other observatories: the Keck Observatory in Hawaii and the Calar Alto Observatory in Spain.
And at an 11,000,000,000,000,000-kilometer stalker range, it was definitely worth it.