For the first time, astronomers have been able to directly follow the motion of an extrasolar planet as it moves from one side of its host star to the other. The alien world has the smallest orbit so far of all directly imaged exoplanets, lying almost as close to its parent star as Saturn is to the Sun. Scientists believe that it may have formed in a similar way to the giant planets in the Solar System. Because the star is so young, this discovery proves that gas giant planets can form within discs in only a few million years, a short time in cosmic terms.


Read more about this discovery at the website of the European Southern Observatory.