Hubble Takes Best Picture Yet Of Beta Pictoris

February 23, 2015 6:46 PM

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The 20-million-year-old star is the only directly imaged debris disk which encircles a giant planet, and this latest Hubble image has revealed some of its secrets to scientists. Its orbital period of 18-22 years is relatively short, which allows astronomers to observe a large range of motion in a short period of time. By studying the star scientists are able to analyze the distorting effects of the giant planet on the debris disk that surrounds it, writes Catherine Griffin of Science World Report.

“Some computer simulations predicted a complicated structure for the inner disk due to the gravitational pull by the short-period giant plant,” said Daniel Apai, a member of the research team. “The new images reveal the inner disk and confirm the predicted structures. This finding validates models, ...

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