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Topic: Fomalhaut

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captures Planetary Collision

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – NASA says, “Now you see it, now you don’t.”

What astronomers thought was a planet beyond our solar system has now seemingly vanished from sight. Though this happens in science fiction, such as Superman’s home planet Krypton exploding, astronomers are looking for a plausible explanation.

One interpretation is that, rather than being a full-sized planetary object, which was first photographed in 2004, it could instead be a vast, expanding cloud of dust produced in a collision between two large bodies orbiting the bright nearby star Fomalhaut. Potential follow-up observations might confirm this extraordinary conclusion.

This artist's illustration depicts the collision of two 125-mile-wide icy, dusty bodies orbiting the bright star Fomalhaut, located 25 light-years away. (ESA, NASA and M. Kornmesser)

This artist’s illustration depicts the collision of two 125-mile-wide icy, dusty bodies orbiting the bright star Fomalhaut, located 25 light-years away. (ESA, NASA and M. Kornmesser)

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NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) data analyzed by Volunteer Disk Detectives finds possible Planetary Habitats

 

Written by Francis Reddy
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – A NASA-sponsored website designed to crowdsource analysis of data from the agency’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission has reached an impressive milestone.

In less than a year, citizen scientists using DiskDetective.org have logged 1 million classifications of potential debris disks and disks surrounding young stellar objects (YSO). This data will help provide a crucial set of targets for future planet-hunting missions.

The marked asymmetry of the debris disk around the star HD 181327 suggests it may have formed as a result of the collision of two small bodies. The Disk Detective project aims to discover many other stellar disks using volunteer classifications of data from NASA's WISE mission. (NASA/ESA/Univ. of Arizona/HST/GO 12228 Team)

The marked asymmetry of the debris disk around the star HD 181327 suggests it may have formed as a result of the collision of two small bodies. The Disk Detective project aims to discover many other stellar disks using volunteer classifications of data from NASA’s WISE mission. (NASA/ESA/Univ. of Arizona/HST/GO 12228 Team)

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NASA Scientists say Rings can form without Planets

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Many young stars known to host planets also possess disks containing dust and icy grains, particles produced by collisions among asteroids and comets also orbiting the star. These debris disks often show sharply defined rings or spiral patterns, features that could signal the presence of orbiting planets.

Astronomers study the disk features as a way to better understand the physical properties of known planets and possibly uncover new ones.

Debris disks around stars naturally form complex structures without the presence of a planet. This image shows the dust density and the growth of structure in a simulated disk, which extends about 100 times farther from its star than Earth's orbit around the sun. At left, the disk is seen from 24-degree angle; at right, it's face-on. Lighter colors show greater dust concentrations. (Image credit: NASA Goddard/JPL-Caltech)

Debris disks around stars naturally form complex structures without the presence of a planet. This image shows the dust density and the growth of structure in a simulated disk, which extends about 100 times farther from its star than Earth’s orbit around the sun. At left, the disk is seen from 24-degree angle; at right, it’s face-on. Lighter colors show greater dust concentrations. (Image credit: NASA Goddard/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA reports evidence of large Asteroid Belt around the star Vega

 

Written by Whitney Clavin
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Astronomers have discovered what appears to be a large asteroid belt around the star Vega, the second brightest star in northern night skies. The scientists used data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory, in which NASA plays an important role.

The discovery of an asteroid belt-like band of debris around Vega makes the star similar to another observed star called Fomalhaut. The data are consistent with both stars having inner, warm belts and outer, cool belts separated by a gap. This architecture is similar to the asteroid and Kuiper belts in our own solar system.

This artist's concept illustrates an asteroid belt around the bright star Vega. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This artist’s concept illustrates an asteroid belt around the bright star Vega. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA reports Astronomers using Herschel space telescope discover planetary systems with vast Comet debris

 

Written by Whitney Clavin
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Astronomers have discovered vast comet belts surrounding two nearby planetary systems known to host only Earth-to-Neptune-mass worlds. These cometary belts could have delivered oceans to the innermost planets.

The findings are based on observations from the Herschel space telescope, a European Space Agency mission with important participation from NASA.

Last year, Herschel found that the dusty belt surrounding the nearby star Fomalhaut must be maintained by collisions between comets.

This artist's impression shows the orbits of planets and comets around the star 61 Vir, superimposed on a view from the Herschel Space Telescope. (Image credits: ESA/AOES)

This artist’s impression shows the orbits of planets and comets around the star 61 Vir, superimposed on a view from the Herschel Space Telescope. (Image credits: ESA/AOES)

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NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope data sheds new light on possible exoplanet in orbit around the Star Fomalhaut

 

Written by Francis Reddy
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – A second look at data from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is reanimating the claim that the nearby star Fomalhaut hosts a massive exoplanet. The study suggests that the planet, named Fomalhaut b, is a rare and possibly unique object that is completely shrouded by dust.

Fomalhaut is the brightest star in the constellation Piscis Austrinus and lies 25 light-years away.

This is an artist's impression of the exoplanet, Fomalhaut b, orbiting its sun, Fomalhaut. (Credit: ESA; Hubble, M. Kornmesser; and ESO, L. Calçada and L. L. Christensen)

This is an artist’s impression of the exoplanet, Fomalhaut b, orbiting its sun, Fomalhaut. (Credit: ESA; Hubble, M. Kornmesser; and ESO, L. Calçada and L. L. Christensen)

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