Ever heard of Formalhaut B? Contrary to what you might be thinking, it’s not a Berlin-based German techno band. It is in fact an extrasolar “Jupiter-sized” planet, and its picture is worth … well, you know the cliche, so let’s just say it’s worth a lot of dough.

Berkeley astronomer and adjunct associate professor of astronomy (try saying that five times fast) Paul Kalas and his team members published the Hubble Telescope image in Science magazine in 2008. And now the image has just won “the 2009 Newcomb Cleveland Prize of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for the most outstanding paper published in Science between June 1, 2008, and May 31, 2009.”

OK, OK, not too shabby. The picture along with the paper written about it will earn the team $25,000 to share. And just hear them talk about the visual: “the image of Fomalhaut, its visually striking belt of comet dust and its planet has become an iconic image of a planetary system,” Kalas gushed.

Oh yeah, baby. Can you feel the (extrasolar) heat?

Image source: NASA/ESA
Images of extrasolar planets win award for most oustanding papers in Science [UC Berkeley News]


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