Astronomy Picture of the Day

Ring Around Fomalhaut

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#76594 by @ 02.07.2005 00:00 - nach oben -
Ring Around Fomalhaut


(sounds like "foam-a-lot") is a bright, young,
star, a mere 25 light-year trip from planet Earth in the direction
of the constellation
Piscis Austrinus.

Earlier infrared observations
identified a torus
of cold material surrounding the nearby star but the
panels above detail the
sharpest ever visible light-image of
Fomalhaut's dusty debris ring, recorded by the
Hubble Space Telescope's
ACS camera.

Overwhelming glare from the star is masked by an occulting disk in
the camera's coronagraph.

The off-center ring with a sharp inner boundary is taken to be strong
evidence of a massive planet orbiting far from Fomalhaut,
shaping and maintaining
the ring's inner edge.

Starting 133 astronomical units (Earth-Sun distances)
from Fomalhaut, the dusty ring itself is likely a larger,
of our own
- the solar system's outer reservoir of
icy bodies.

Credit & Copyright
#76628 by @ 04.07.2005 11:20 - nach oben -
Das Auge aus "Herr der Ringe"?
#76640 by @ 04.07.2005 17:43 - nach oben -
hani au als erschts dänkt.