There was an interesting announcement at the International Astronomical Union conference yesterday (which I must mention was held in Victoria, BC, my home town). A team of astronomer from France have photographed a planet orbiting a distant star. Usually only indirect evidence of such planets is found, and in fact only about a dozen photos have ever been made of extrasolar planets. Until twenty years ago, it wasn't even known if there were any extrasolar planets!

This one has been given the lovely name "HD95086B", and is considered the lightest planet imaged at only four times the mass of Jupiter. The star it orbits ( which is removed from the image below to avoid overexposing the image) is approximately 300 light years from Earth in the constellation Carina.