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Space Science

Mysterious Planet May Be Cruising For a Bruising 104

Posted by Soulskill
from the mark-your-calendars dept.
sciencehabit writes "Something is orbiting the bright star Fomalhaut in the constellation known as the Southern Fish, but no one knows exactly what it is. New observations carried out last year with the Hubble Space Telescope confirm that the mysterious object, known as Fomalhaut b, is traveling on a highly elongated path, but they haven't convincingly nailed down its true nature. But if it is a planet, as one team of astronomers thinks, we may be in for some celestial fireworks in 2032, when Fomalhaut b starts to plough through a broad belt of debris that surrounds the star and icy comets within the belt smash into the planet's atmosphere." Meanwhile, astronomers recently announced the discovery of the most Earth-like exoplanet yet seen, which orbits a G-type star, has a radius 1.5 times that of Earth and a year of about 242 days.
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Mysterious Planet May Be Cruising For a Bruising

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  • 25 Ly away (Score:5, Informative)

    by richardoz (529837) on Friday January 11, 2013 @12:47PM (#42558925) Homepage
    For the observable time of 2032, this means it already happened.
  • by arisvega (1414195) on Friday January 11, 2013 @02:31PM (#42560057)

    Terrible headline aside

    Since there may be others that feel this way, in the case of exoplanets here is "the one", all-inclusive resource [exoplanets.org] that even the professionals in the field make use of and cite.

    (For the click-lazy:) "The Exoplanet Data Explorer is an interactive table and plotter for exploring and displaying data from the Exoplanet Orbit Database. The Exoplanet Orbit Database is a carefully constructed compilation of quality, spectroscopic orbital parameters of exoplanets orbiting normal stars from the peer-reviewed literature, and updates the Catalog of nearby exoplanets."

    Access is granted to all data, and I (hopefully along with other slashdotters) am willing to "translate" from the scientific jargon if something sounds too specialized.

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