12 April, 2012
This video sequence starts with a wide-field view of the sky around the star Fomalhaut in the constellation of Piscis Austrinus (The Southern Fish). Fomalhaut is the brightest star in the constellation and one of the brightest stars known to have an orbiting planet. It lies about 25 light-years from the Earth and is surrounded by a huge disc of dust. The final view of this video shows a new ALMA image of the disc (orange) and the new results from ALMA have given astronomers a major breakthrough in understanding a nearby planetary system and provided valuable clues about how such systems form and evolve. Note that ALMA has so far only observed a part of the ring. The underlying blue picture shows an earlier picture obtained by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO). Visible light image: the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope A. Fujii/Digitized Sky Survey 2. Acknowledgment: Davide De Martin (ESA/Hubble). Music: John Dyson (from the album Moonwind).