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Herschels image of Fomalhaut
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Herschel’s image of Fomalhaut

April 18, 2012
This image shows the infrared emission from the young star Fomalhaut and the dust disc surrounding it, as recorded with ESA's Herschel Space Observatory at a wavelength of 70 micron. To explain the emission from Fomalhaut's debris disc, astronomers invoke a steady production of dust particles via comet collisions, with an average rate of 2000 daily collisions between comets of one kilometre across or, alternatively, of 2 daily collisions between 10-kilometre-diameter comets.