GPI

The image at right shows Beta Pictorus b, some 63 light years from Earth and orbiting around its parent star.

A group of institutions including NASA, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the University of California, Berkeley, have released the first images taken by the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), a camera designed to search for new planets. The first images were taken from the Gemini South telescope in Chile in November. Most planets known to us are only known through indirect methods, but thanks to GPI, scientists will have access to a more direct form of observation and, they hope, provide new information about the universe.