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This view shows a new picture of the dust ring around the bright star Fomalhaut from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). Note that ALMA has so far only observed a part of the ring. Caption courtesy of the ESO. Photo: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO). Visible light image: the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope

The European Southern Observatory released a photograph of the star Fomalhut.  The image – which combines ALMA and Hubble photographs – shows a ring of dust surrounding the star, which lies about 25-light-years away. This discovery leads scientists to believe that planets orbiting the bright star are much smaller than originally anticipated.

Aaron Boley, a leader in the study, said this in a release:

Combining ALMA observations of the ring’s shape with computer models, we can place very tight limits on the mass and orbit of any planet near the ring …The masses of these planets must be small; otherwise the planets would destroy the ring.

Read more here.

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