Hubble Views of Beta Pictoris (1997 and 2012)

Hubble Views of Beta Pictoris (1997 and 2012)

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Fast Facts
News release ID: STScI-2015-06
Release Date: Feb 19, 2015
Image Use: Copyright
About this image

The photo at the bottom is the most detailed picture to date of a large, edge-on, gas-and-dust disk encircling the 20-million-year-old star Beta Pictoris. The new visible-light Hubble image traces the disk in closer to the star to within about 650 million miles of the star (which is inside the radius of Saturn's orbit about the Sun). When comparing the latest images to Hubble images taken in 1997 (top), astronomers find that the disk's dust distribution has barely changed over 15 years despite the fact that the entire structure is orbiting the star like a carousel. The Hubble Space Telescope photo has been artificially colored to bring out detail in the disk's structure.

Annotated Observations, Observations, Stars, Stellar Disks


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