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Submillimeter observations of an asymmetric dust disk around Fomalhaut

Holland, W. S., Greaves, J. S, Dent, W. R. F., Wyatt, M. C., Zuckerman, B., Webb, R. A., McCarthy, C., Coulson, I. M., Robson, E. I. and Gear, Walter Kieran ORCID: 2003. Submillimeter observations of an asymmetric dust disk around Fomalhaut. Astrophysical Journal 582 (2) , pp. 1141-1146. 10.1086/344819

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New submillimeter images of the cold dust emission around the nearby main-sequence star Fomalhaut are presented. Observations at a wavelength of 450 ?m, where the telescope beam size is equivalent to a resolution of 50 AU, reveal that Fomalhaut is encircled by a significantly nonaxisymmetric inclined ring. Smooth axisymmetric models of the ring images suggest the existence of a least one "clump" with an estimated flux of about 5% of the total from the disk, thus implying a clump mass of 0.075 lunar masses. At the resolution of the data, this clump could instead be a ring arc. The most plausible explanation is that this feature is produced by dust trapped in a resonance with a large planet. The observed structures around Fomalhaut and other Vega-excess stars qualitatively resemble features seen in numerical simulations with a gas giant perturber.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Uncontrolled Keywords: circumstellar matter; planetary systems; stars: individual (Fomalhaut)
ISSN: 0004-6256
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2022 08:56

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