NASA Hubble telescope was first revealed to the world image exoplanets


14/11/2008

Hubble Space Telescope of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), made the first shot (in the visual spectrum) of the planet, orbiting a star outside the solar system. Planet Fomalhaut b, the size is three times larger than Jupiter, orbits the bright southern star Fomalhaut, located 25 light-years away in the constellation of the Southern Fish (Piscis Australis).

Back in the 1980s, satellite IRAS (Infrared Astronomy Satellite) found a large number of star dust (which is considered a sign of planet formation) around the star Fomalhaut. Since then, the search for planets around stars are not stopped.

In 2004, with the coronagraph and high-resolution cameras Hubble first photographed the area around the star Fomalhaut. (Coronagraph - a device that can block the glare of the central star to help discern faint objects around it). It was possible to see a ring of protoplanetary debris width of about 35 billion kilometers and the planet, "sunken" deep into the ring for 3 billion miles.

Photo obtained from the Hubble Space Telescope

This large debris disk is similar to the Kuiper belt (Kuiper Belt), which surrounds the solar system and contains icy bodies, ranging in size from dust particles to dwarf planets like Pluto.

Brightness discovered planet Fomalhaut b 1 billion times smaller than the brightness of its stars. The object rotates around the star, and therefore gravitationally bound to it. The planet is at a distance of about 17 billion miles from the star, or about 10 times farther than Saturn is from our Sun.

Being three times larger than Jupiter planet was brighter than expected. Perhaps she, like Saturn, is a ring of ice and dust reflecting starlight. From the ring eventually could form the moon. The estimated size of the ring is comparable to the region around Jupiter and its four largest satellites.

In the future, exploring the planet in infrared light and will conduct searches for evidence of the presence of clouds of water vapor in the atmosphere. These findings shed light on the formation of a relatively young planet, aged about 100 million years. Astrometric measurements of the orbit will provide enough precision to calculate the mass of the planet.

Space Telescope James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled for launch in 2013, will be able to monitor the koronograficheskie Fomalhaut in the infrared spectrum and continue to hunt for other planets. Most popular news informers tell the main news of the day.

Original: Science.nasa.gov


In space, first discovered the molecular oxygen
Scientists: Venus may be active volcanoes
NASA creates a flying robot to the ISS
Curiosity will drill one more stone to Mars
Space observatory Chandra: ten years of amazing discoveries