Imaging Exoplanets: Out of this world pictures

   Back in 2008, the image at left was plastered across the front page of many science related publications. For the first time, scientists had directly imaged an exoplanet (a planet which orbits another star) with visible light.
   Exoplanets themselves were nothing new.  In late 2008, 333 exoplanet canidates were known, and 8 of those had been detected using direct imaging. In fact, Fomalhaut b itself, the planet pictured, was actually not truly a new discovery. Since 2004 scientists had been reasonably confident it existed because of the sharp inner edge of the band of dust around the star Formalhaut. The thought was that a large planet (namely Fomalhaut b) was sweeping the material from the inside of the band into itself.