“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!
UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion
16.11.2018 | University of New Hampshire
NASA keeps watch over space explosions
16.11.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
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