“Combining ALMA observations of the ring’s shape with computer models, we can place very tight limits on the mass and orbit of any planet near the ring.” said Aaron Boley, a Sagan Postdoctoral Fellow at UF and leader of the study. “The masses of the planets must be small so they do not destroy the ring, but their masses cannot be too low or they would not shape the ring.”
Although Fomalhaut is a much hotter star than the sun, the planets are so far from their host star that they are among the coldest planets known around a normal star. They are thought to be low-mass bodies, but astronomers do not have enough data to tell whether they have a significant amount of hydrogen gas or are mostly rock and ice.
“ALMA observations show that Fomalhaut’s ring is even more narrow and thinner than previously known,” said Matthew Payne, an astronomer at the University of Florida who contributed to the study. “Fomalhaut b alone only explains the ring’s sharp inner edge. Our analysis suggests that two planets, one interior and one exterior, are shepherding the ring, analogous to how Uranus’ moons Cordelia and Ophelia confine Uranus’ brightest ring.”The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, located in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile at an altitude of 16,400 feet is the largest astronomical project in existence. Still under construction, ALMA began scientific operations in September.
Aaron Boley | EurekAlert!
Significantly more productivity in USP lasers
06.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT
Shape matters when light meets atom
05.12.2016 | Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
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07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine
07.12.2016 | Life Sciences
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine