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In 2008, astronomers spotted the first exoplanet in visual light orbiting a distant star. But now, a new study suggests that Fomalhaut b may simply be a swirl of space dust.
The Hubble Space Telescope first spotted a possible planet circling the star Fomalhaut about 25 light-years away in the Southern Fish constellation, Piscis Australis.
The star is surrounded by a debris ring that stretches some 21.5 billion miles across and bears an uncanny visual resemblance to the Eye of Sauron, from the Lord of the Rings films.
Read more. First Picture of Alien Planet … Isn’t?.
- New research suggests Fomalhaut B may not be a planet after all (physorg.com)
- Fomalhaut’s giant exoplanet may be small lava world (newscientist.com)