HubbleSite Artist's Concept of Nearest Exoplanet to Our Solar System

Picture of an Exoplanet Orbiting Epsilon Eridani

One common use of space art is to illustrate astronomical concepts that are beyond the ability of our telescopes to represent. An example is the above picture of an exoplanet in orbit around Epsilon Eridani, a young star only 10.5 light years away from us.

In the large version of the image, we can see that there are actually three moons orbiting the exoplanet. There are two things that bother me about this image. The first is the disparity in illumination of the planet and its orbiting moon. The second is that while the planet's rings lie in the planet's plane of rotation, it certainly looks like none of the three moons do.

This illustration brings to mind one of the problems facing space or astronomical artists: a small canvas in which large expanses of space must be captured.

For more information about the planetary system being illustrated by this picture, read the Hubble press release Artist's Concept of Nearest Exoplanet to Our Solar System.

Ad Astra, Jim

| Return to the Blog Index | This entry was posted on Friday, October 13th, 2006 at 6:31 pm and is filed under Space Art.