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).



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

About the Image

NASA press release
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

Image Formats

Large JPEG
425.0 KB
Screensize JPEG
91.5 KB


Colours & filters

Hubble Space Telescope

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