Beta Pictoris — Comparison

This is the most detailed picture to date of a large, edge-on, gas-and-dust disc encircling the 20 million year old star Beta Pictoris. It is compared with a previous image of the disc.

Beta Pictoris remains the only directly imaged debris disc that has a giant planet (discovered in 2009) with an orbital period short enough (estimated to be between 18 and 22 years) that astronomers can see large motion in just a few years. This allows scientists to study how the Beta Pictoris disc is distorted by the presence of a massive planet embedded within the disc.

The new visible-light Hubble image traces the disc to within about one billion kilometres of the star (which is inside the radius of Saturn's orbit about the Sun).

Links:

Credit:

NASA, ESA, and D. Apai and G. Schneider (University of Arizona)

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Id:opo1506a
Type:Collage
Release date:20 February 2015, 10:29
Size:3000 x 2400 px

About the Object

Name:Beta Pictoris
Type:Milky Way : Star : Circumstellar Material : Disk
Distance:65 light years
Category:Stars

Image Formats

Large JPEG
424.9 KB
Screensize JPEG
91.3 KB

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Colours & filters

BandTelescope
Hubble Space Telescope
STIS

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