A new instrument on Earth designed to image planets far outside the solar system has discovered its first planet, and it’s the most Jupiter-like world ever found.

The planet, named 51 Eridani b, was discovered by the Gemini Planet Imager — an instrument mounted to the Gemini South telescope in Chile — and is located about 100 light-years from our solar system. The new planet find is detailed in this week’s issue of the journal Science Advances.

51 Eridani b is about two times the mass of Jupiter and its atmosphere is actually rich in methane, an element that appears in Jupiter’s atmosphere as well, but has a much smaller presence in the atmospheres of other previously discovered exoplanets Read more…

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Alien-planet imager discovers the most Jupiter-like world ever found