Artist’s impression of exocomets around Beta Pictoris

April 15, 2015
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This artist’s impression shows exocomets orbiting the star Beta Pictoris. Astronomers analysing observations of nearly 500 individual comets made with the HARPS instrument at ESO’s La Silla Observatory have discovered two families of exocomets around this nearby young star. The first consists of old exocomets that have made multiple passages near the star. The second family, shown in this illustration, consists of younger exocomets on the same orbit, which probably came from the recent breakup of one or more larger objects.

author
I am a Norwegian / British astronomer who working on the scientific preparation of the PLATO exoplanet mission. The PLATO space mission is designed to search for small, rocky exoplanets in the habitable zones of stars like the Sun.

I also work on a variety of astrophysical topics mainly focused on far-UV observations aimed at understanding the the formation environments of young planets. I am also very interested in work related to exoplanet atmospheres, radial velocity followup and exocomets.

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