April 12, 2012
Dave Finley, Public Information Officer
The narrow dust ring around Fomalhaut. Yellow at top is the ALMA image, and the blue at bottom is Hubble Space Telescope image. The star is at the location of the bright emission at the center of the ring.
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JPEG Without Labels (Click image for larger size.)
Particles in the dust ring are kept inside the ring by gravitational interaction with planets. The faster-moving inner planet transfers energy to dust particles, moving them outward, deeper into the ring. The slower-moving outer planet removes energy from the particles, causing them to drop inward, back into the ring.
CREDIT: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF.