Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Extra-Solar Planet

Astronomers have confirmed that the extra-solar planet called Fomalhaut b is indeed exist!

When it was first observed, Fomalhaut b, located 25 light-years away in the constellation Piscis Austrinus, caused a great deal of controversy. The first pictures taken of the planet could not be reproduced because of a broken module on the Hubble. Second, the orbit was so oblique that there were questions as to it being a proper planet, leading astronomers to label it a "rogue" planet.

On of the things that makes Fomalhaut b worthy of interest it was one of the first directly imaged extrasolar planets ever seen.

After it's discovery in 2004 it was not seen again until 2010, with a new instrument, by 2012 several other telescopes had managed to photograph Fomalhaut b and finally in 2013 the original team again photographed the planet in the star's huge debris ring.

The reason that the planet was so difficult to find was it;s hugely oblique orbit, anywhere from 40 A.U. to a staggering 350 A.U.s. acting much more like a comet from our own solar system’s outer Kuiper belt. Check out the picture above and the demonstration below.

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