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Fomalhaut Triple Star System
2013-10-04 09:17:50

John P. Millis, PhD for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The search for exoplanets – worlds outside of our own solar system – has grown exponentially in the last decade or two. And while news about the hunt for planets that could potentially support life dominates the headlines, it is equally important to understand the star systems that host these distant space rocks. One system that has garnered significant attention is the nearby star system known as Fomalhaut, partially...

Image 1 - Astronomers Use ALMA To Dissect Nearby Planetary System
2012-04-12 11:46:36

[ Watch the Video ] Astronomers have made a breakthrough discovery in understanding a nearby planetary system, giving clues about how these systems form and evolve. Scientists used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to find that planets orbiting the star Fomalhaut must be smaller than originally thought. The high-resolution images show that both the inner and outer edges of the thin, dusty disk have very sharp edges.  This, as well as computer simulations,...

Comets Collide To Create Dust Belt
2012-04-12 04:45:20

The ESA´s Herschel Space Observatory has been studying the dust near the star Fomalhaut and has found the surrounding dust appears to have come from the dust of destroyed comets. A young star, Fomalhaut is estimated to be just a few million years old and twice as large as the sun. The dust belt near the star was discovered in the 1980s by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS). Herschel's imaging technology and capabilities are able to capture a clearer picture of this dust belt,...

2010-09-23 14:05:00

New supercomputer simulations tracking the interactions of thousands of dust grains show what the solar system might look like to alien astronomers searching for planets. The models also provide a glimpse of how this view might have changed as our planetary system matured. "The planets may be too dim to detect directly, but aliens studying the solar system could easily determine the presence of Neptune -- its gravity carves a little gap in the dust," said Marc Kuchner, an astrophysicist at...

2009-06-23 08:30:00

Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing the first detection of a magnetic field on the star Vega, one of the brightest stars in the sky. Using the high-sensitivity NARVAL spectropolarimeter installed at the Bernard-Lyot telescope (Pic du Midi Observatory, France), a team of astronomers [1] detected the effect of a magnetic field (known as the Zeeman effect) in the light emitted by Vega. Vega is a famous star among amateur and professional astronomers. Located at only 25 light years from...

2008-11-13 15:40:00

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has taken the first visible-light snapshot of a planet circling another star. Estimated to be no more than three times Jupiter's mass, the planet, called Fomalhaut b, orbits the bright southern star Fomalhaut, located 25 light-years away in the constellation Piscis Australis (the Southern Fish). Fomalhaut has been a candidate for planet hunting ever since an excess of dust was discovered around the star in the early 1980s by NASA's Infrared Astronomy Satellite...

2007-06-13 09:35:00

A young star's strange elliptical ring of dust likely heralds the presence of an undiscovered Neptune-sized planet, says a University of Rochester astronomer in the latest Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Stars in the early stages of life are surrounded by dust clouds that thin out and dissipate as the star reaches maturity, becoming rings in their final stages. One star, however, has a dust ring that has long puzzled astronomers because it is not centered around the star as...

2006-09-29 18:45:00

With the VISIR instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have mapped the disc around a star more massive than the Sun. The very extended and flared disc most likely contains enough gas and dust to spawn planets. It appears as a precursor of debris discs such as the one around Vega-like stars and thus provides the rare opportunity to witness the conditions prevailing prior to or during planet formation. "Planets form in massive, gaseous and dusty proto-planetary discs that...

2006-01-11 07:20:24

NOAO -- Strong darkening observed around the equator of Vega suggests that the fifth brightest star in Earth's sky has a huge temperature difference of 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit from its cool equatorial region to its hot poles. Models of the star based on these observations suggest that Vega is rotating at 92 percent of the angular velocity that would cause it to physically break apart, an international team of astronomers announced today in Washington, DC, at the 207th meeting of the...

2005-06-21 22:40:00

Berkeley - Astronomers zooming in on a nearby star with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have discovered unmistakable evidence of a planetary system: a perturbed dusty belt around the star that's analogous to the vast Kuiper Belt of icy rocks encircling the sun. While the discovery is expected to send astronomers scurrying to their telescopes to obtain direct images of a planet around the star, called Fomalhaut, it also provides a Rosetta stone for debris disks - the pancakes of rock and ice...

Latest Castor Moving Group Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:40

Vega -- Vega (Alpha Lyrae) is the lead star in the constellation Lyra, reaching near directly overhead the mid-northern latitudes, during the summer. It's a "nearby star" at only 25 light years distant and together with Arcturus and Sirius, one of the brightest stars in the Sun's neighbourhood. Vega is a vertex of the Summer Triangle. Its spectral class is A0V (Sirius, an A1V, is slightly less powerful) and it's firmly in the main sequence, fusing hydrogen to helium in its core....

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Word of the Day
  • A 'bachelor seal'; a young male seal which is prevented from mating by its herd's older males (mated bulls defending their territory).
This comes from the Russian word for 'bachelors.'