Hubble telescope directly observes an exoplanet

Via pretty much everywhere, here’s some space-pr0n for your Friday morning – real-light images from the Hubble telescope show a planet orbiting the relatively near-by star of Fomalhaut.

Fomalhaut star system image including planet

Astronomy types have been inferring the presence of exoplanets by gravitational lensing for a few years now, but this is apparently the first time one has been imaged directly. [image from linked NASA webpage, which has a full credit list nearly as long as this entire blog post]

Personally, I can’t read this story without being taken back to the golden years of staying up stupidly late to play Elite – if I remember correctly, Fomalhaut was an Imperial system where you could get a great price on slaves…