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Herschel’s image of Fomalhaut
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- Title Herschel’s image of Fomalhaut
- Released 12/04/2012 11:33 am
- Copyright ESA/Herschel/PACS/Bram Acke, KU Leuven, Belgium
This image shows the infrared emission from the young star Fomalhaut and the dust disc surrounding it, as recorded with ESA's Herschel Space Observatory at a wavelength of 70 micron. To explain the emission from Fomalhaut's debris disc, astronomers invoke a steady production of dust particles via comet collisions, with an average rate of 2000 daily collisions between comets of one kilometre across or, alternatively, of 2 daily collisions between 10-kilometre-diameter comets.