Exoplanet Resurfaces

Exoplanet Resurfaces

A recent report threw light on the existence of Fomalhaut b, the exoplanet. It was in 2008 that NASA had claimed to have spotted a bright object in a gap in the disc of a planet, which was then claimed to be the first exoplanet.

However, things changed later when they could not spot the same using other telescopes, including Hubble's infrared cousin Spitzer, and they asserted it to be a mass of wandering dust. Apparently, it was when Thayne Currie, an astronomer at the University of Toronto, decided to explore it further, that they administered new analytic techniques to the first Hubble data, and generated new observations from the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii.

"Honestly it is unclear to us exactly how the original authors ... got that result in the first place", asserted Currie, while claiming that the best possible justification for the observations is that Fomalhaut b is a planet which has more mass around the Jupiter.

Since the team has managed to track it from the light of surrounding dust instead of from the light or heat released by its atmosphere, it cannot be ranked as a "directly imaged exoplanet" and is instead being tagged as a "planet identified from direct imaging".


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