Circumstellar Disk Around Beta Pictoris

This Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 image shows the full extent of the disk, which spans 140 billion miles (1500 astronomical units) edge-to-edge. An unusual flaring at the top of the right side of the disk (the Southwest side of the disk) shows that dust has been pulled above the dense plane of the disk beyond what is observed in the left side. A gravitational perturbation by an unseen substellar- mass companion farther from the star than planets would be, or a tug from a bypassing star might cause this flaring. The image was taken on June 22, 1995.


Al Schultz (CSC/STScI, and NASA/ESA)

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Release date:7 January 1998, 06:00
Size:1689 x 381 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
77.4 KB
Screensize JPEG
33.8 KB

Colours & filters

Optical Hubble Space Telescope

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