This image shows the HR 8799 planets with starlight optically suppressed and data processing conducted to remove residual starlight. The star is at the center of the blackened circle in the image. The four spots indicated with the letters b through e are the planets. This is a composite image using 30 wavelengths of light and was obtained over a period of 1.25 hours on June 14 and 15, 2012.
A team of researchers belonging to a group called Project 1640, which is partly funded by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., used the Palomar Observatory near San Diego to obtain detailed spectra of the four planets. The results are revealing new information about the atmospheres of the four giant, red planets.
JPL manages NASA's Exoplanet Exploration program office. Caltech manages JPL for NASA. More information about exoplanets and NASA's planet-finding program is at http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov.