Artist's illustration of Beta Pictoris gas disk

This is an artist's concept of the near stellar environment of the star Beta Pictoris. This illustration is based upon recent observations made with the Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph aboard the Hubble Space Telescope.

This illustration shows three major components of the near stellar region, which is roughly the size of our inner Solar System. The reddish center ring (C) is a diffuse gas disk, which has a stable orbit around the star. This ring surrounds an inner disk (D) of gas which is slowly drifting toward the star. The white "comet-like" features in this bluish disk are dense streams of gas spiraling down the star gravitational potential "well." The outer filamentary structures (A&B;), first detected by the Space Telescope, may be an expanding gas halo, or foreground features seen in the local interstellar medium.


Dana Berry (STScI)

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Release date:17 May 1991, 06:00
Size:3620 x 2420 px

About the Object

Name:Beta Pictoris
Type:Milky Way : Star : Circumstellar Material : Disk
Distance:70 light years

Image Formats

Large JPEG
1.8 MB
Screensize JPEG
76.7 KB

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