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Does Famous Exoplanet 'Fomalhaut b' Really Exist? 40

astroengine writes "The first exoplanet ever to be directly imaged by the Hubble space telescope may not exist. In 2008, the world was in awe of the famous 'Eye of Sauron' image of the star Fomalhaut's dusty ring — plus a slowly moving object that was identified as Fomalhaut b, a gas giant world approximately three times the mass of Jupiter. However, due to a strange orbital misstep detected between 2008 and 2009 photographs, the validity of Fomalhaut b's detection is being questioned, generating some controversy in the exoplanet community."

Object Defies Categorization As Planet or Star 119

Kligat writes "The COROT project of the French Space Agency has detected an object described as defying categorization as a planet, star, or brown dwarf. Although only 0.8 times the radius of Jupiter, it is over 20 times as massive, giving it a density twice that of the metal platinum. If it is a star, it would be the smallest of those ever discovered."

Diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggy" until you can find a rock.