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).


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


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


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