NASA’s Hubble Reveals Rogue Planetary Orbit for Fomalhaut B

Half a dozen press releases from NASA this morning, but two in particular caught my eye:

Astronomers are surprised to find the debris belt is wider than previously known, spanning a section of space from 14 to nearly 20 billion miles from the star. Even more surprisingly, the latest Hubble images have allowed a team of astronomers to calculate the planet follows an unusual elliptical orbit that carries it on a potentially destructive path through the vast dust ring.

NASA’s Hubble Reveals Rogue Planetary Orbit for Fomalhaut B.

And:

The discovery of an asteroid belt-like band of debris around Vega makes the star similar to another observed star called Fomalhaut. The data are consistent with both stars having inner, warm belts and outer, cool belts separated by a gap. This architecture is similar to the asteroid and Kuiper belts in our own solar system.

NASA, ESA Telescopes Find Evidence for Asteroid Belt Around Vega.

The more planetary systems we discover and study, the more we find structures that are similar to our own solar system. Here’s a thought: the bigger a star is, the wider it’s habitable zone is.

 

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