Recovery and orbit determination of Fomalhaut b

In this press release we announce that Fomalhaut b has been recovered by two new observations made with a different Hubble Space Telescope Camera called STIS. The new observations were made in 2010 and 2012. The most important new contribution is that we prove the orbit of Fomalhaut b is highly elliptical. When projected on the 2-dimensional sky plane, Fomalhaut b will appear to enter the dust belt. However, we cannot yet calculate this orbit to sufficient precision to determine if in fact Fomalhaut b will enter the belt, or pass below or above it in 3-dimensional space. We also discover two new features in the belt - a halo of material and a gap, as shown in the image above.

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