Circumstellar Disk Around Beta Pictoris

These two Hubble Space Telescope visible-light views of the edge- on disk of dust around the star Beta Pictoris yield telltale evidence for the existence of planets, and possibly the gravitational tug of a companion brown dwarf or bypassing star. Both views reveal warps in the disk that might be caused by the gravitational pull of one or more unseen companions. Since its discovery, Beta Pictoris has long been considered one of the nearest examples of an extrasolar planetary system still forming.


A. Schultz (Computer Sciences Corp.), S. Heap (NASA/ESA Goddard Space FlightCenter) and NASA/ESA

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Release date:7 January 1998, 06:00
Size:1200 x 900 px

About the Object

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

Image Formats

Large JPEG
233.1 KB
Screensize JPEG
168.7 KB

Colours & filters

Ultraviolet Hubble Space Telescope
Optical Hubble Space Telescope

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