Bibliography – Tech-Science – James Webb has recorded asteroids and a dust cloud around the star closest to Earth

The star known as Fomalhaut is located 25 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Piscis Austrinus (The Southern Fish). It is best seen from the Southern Hemisphere, but it can also be seen from much of the Northern Hemisphere, especially in the fall. Because of its brightness and location, it is still often used for navigation to this day, writes MTI based on news from The Guardian.

Previous observations by the Hubble Space Telescope and other instruments showed the 440-million-year-old Fomalhaut surrounded by dust and debris, but the images provided only a partial picture of the cosmic matter orbiting the young star.

Now, however, high-resolution images from the James Webb Space Telescope

They revealed the star’s environment in unprecedented detail.

This is how it was revealed, for example, that in addition to the wide inner asteroid belt around Fomalhaut, there is also a second, narrower ring made of rocks and debris.

The dust we see arose during collisions between planetesimals (planet seeds), which themselves are long-forgotten remnants of planetary system formation.“- explained András Gáspár, lead author of the study from the University of Arizona.

Even beyond Fomalhaut is the solar system’s Kuiper Belt-like outer ring of debris, home to Pluto and the other dwarf planets Eris, Haumea, and Makemake. In this outer ring, astronomers have detected what they call a large dust cloud, which they believe may have formed when two space rocks more than 400 miles across collided.

Scientists have identified the new features in images taken by the mid-infrared instrument on the James Webb Space Telescope. Their study has been published in the journal Nature Astronomy.