Warped Disc around Beta Pictoris

This image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows for the first time the inner region of a 200-billion mile diameter dust disk around the star Beta Pictoris.

Top Image

 

This is a visible light image of the disk, which appears spindle-like because it is tilted nearly edge-on to our view.

The disk is made up of microscopic dust grains of ices and silicate particles, and shines by reflected light from the star.

 

Bottom Image

False-color is applied through image processing to accentuate details in the disk structure.

Hubble reveals that the pink-white inner edge of the disk is slightly tilted from the plane of the outer disk (red-yellow-green) as identified by a dotted line.

A simple explanation is that a large planet is pulling on the disk. It is not possible to see the planet directly because it is close to the star, and perhaps a billion-times fainter.

Credit:

Chris Burrows, Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) the European Space Agency (ESA), J. Krist (STScI), the WFPC2 IDT team, and NASA

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Id:opo9602a
Type:Collage
Release date:17 January 1996, 14:30
Size:2737 x 1737 px

About the Object

Name:Beta Pictoris, IRAS 05460-5104
Type:• Milky Way : Star : Circumstellar Material : Planetary System
Distance:70 light years

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
B
439 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
V
555 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Infrared
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2

Image Formats

Large JPEG
574.4 KB
Screensize JPEG
166.8 KB

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