Hubble’s View of Beta Pictoris in 2012

Astronomers have used the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to take the most detailed picture to date of a large, edge-on, gas-and-dust disc encircling the 20-million-year-old star Beta Pictoris. Beta Pictoris remains the only directly imaged debris disc that has a giant planet (discovered in 2009). Because the orbital period is comparatively short (estimated to be between 18 and 22 years), 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. This 2012 visible-light Hubble image traces the disc to within about 1050 million kilometres of the star (which is inside the radius of Saturn’s orbit about the Sun).

Credit:

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

About the Image

Id: beta-pictoris
Type: Observation
Release date: 13 October 2021, 16:07
Size: 1184 x 242 px

About the Object


Coordinates

Position (RA): 5 47 17.11
Position (Dec): -51&deg 3′ 58.74″
Field of view: 1.20 x 0.25 arcminutes
Orientation: North is 13.8° right of vertical



Colours & filters

Band Wavelength Telescope
Optical 574 nm

Hubble Space Telescope

STIS

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