Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:12 PM
struggle4progress (90,192 posts)
'Zombie' Planet's Rogue Orbit Around Star Shocks Scientists
by Tariq Malik, SPACE.com Managing Editor
Date: 09 January 2013 Time: 01:30 AM ET
... Fomalhaut b is a giant alien planet that is nearly three times the mass of Jupiter. It was the first alien planet ever directly imaged in visible light. The planet orbits the dust-shrouded star Fomalhaut and is located about 25 light-years away in the constellation Piscis Austrinus.
In October, scientists dubbed the world a "zombie planet" because it appeared to rise from the academic grave. After first being discovered in 2008, subsequent studies suggested the planet was nothing more than a huge dust cloud. In 2012, astronomers resurrected Fomalhaut b's planet status when new observations proved there was a planetary object embedded in a free-floating dust cloud.
The latest observations of the odd planetary system revealed that the dusty debris disk surrounding the star Fomalhaut is much wider than previously thought. The debris belt spans a vast region of space between 14 billion and 20 billion miles (22.5 billion to 32.1 billion kilometers) around the star.
Stranger still: The planet Fomalhaut b appears to approach with 4.6 billion miles (7.4 billion km) of its star at the closest point in its orbit, then swing way out to a point about 27 billion miles (43.4 billion km) away at the farthest point. Scientists call the extremes of such a planetís path a highly eccentric orbit ...
3 replies, 863 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Response to supernova (Reply #1)
Thu Jan 10, 2013, 11:19 AM
DetlefK (8,567 posts)
3. You won't hear him coming...
radius: 7.4 to 43.4 billion km
time: 2,000-year orbit
That's about 159.59 billion km per 17.532 million h, that's about 9103 km/h, that's about 7.37x speed of sound.