El Hubble resuelve por primer vez un planeta d'otru sitema solar


El telescopiu espacial Hubble captó la primer imaxen d'un planteta fuera del sitema solar. Na semeya, tomada nel espectru visible, puede vese el puntu de lluz que reflexa el cuerpu al siguir la su órbita alrededor de la estrella Fomalhaut, que pretenez a la constelación de Piscis Austral y que ta a 25 años lluz de la Tierra.
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, or 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, IRAS.

  This visible-light image from the Hubble shows the newly discovered planet, Fomalhaut b, orbiting its parent star. Credit: NASA, ESA, P. Kalas, J. Graham, E. Chiang, and E. Kite (University of California, Berkeley), M. Clampin (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.), M. Fitzgerald (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, Calif.), and K. Stapelfeldt and J. Krist (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.)

  Ground-based image showing Fomalhaut's location. Credit: A. Fujii, NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay (STScI)

  This animation simulates Fomalhaut b's path around its star. The red dot represents the planet, the white dot represents the star, and the brown ring represents the debris disk. Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)
> View animation In 2004, the coronagraph in the High Resolution Camera on Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys produced the first-ever resolved visible-light image of the region around Fomalhaut. It clearly showed a ring of protoplanetary debris approximately 21.5 billion miles across and having a sharp inner edge.

This large debris disk is similar to the Kuiper Belt, which encircles the solar system and contains a range of icy bodies from dust grains to objects the size of dwarf planets, such as Pluto.

Hubble astronomer Paul Kalas, of the University of California at Berkeley, and team members proposed in 2005 that the ring was being gravitationally modified by a planet lying between the star and the ring's inner edge.

Circumstantial evidence came from Hubble's confirmation that the ring is offset from the center of the star. The sharp inner edge of the ring is also consistent with the presence of a planet that gravitationally "shepherds" ring particles. Independent researchers have subsequently reached similar conclusions.

Now, Hubble has actually photographed a point source of light lying 1.8 billion miles inside the ring's inner edge. The results are being reported in the November 14 issue of Science magazine.

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