Astronomers have directly imaged an exoplanet using interferometry for the first time, a new method to hunt for habitable worlds.

Despite the fact that HR8799e is an astonishing 129 light years away, the GRAVITY instrument of the European South Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) was able to make the first direct observation using optical interferometry.

This method uses the four unit telescopes of VLT together to mimic a single much larger telescope that can separate out the light of the exoplanet and its parent star.

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