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This page describes an image beta Pictoris b

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Caption: This composite of two images shows the planet beta Pictoris b and a disk of material both of which orbit the young star beta Pictoris. Both are taken in infrared light. The inner image was one of the first pictures taken of a planet around another star (an exoplanet). This image was made using a technique called adaptive optics which removes the blurring effect of the Earth's atmosphere that spreads out a star's light. The star's light is then concentrated tightly enough that it can be hidden behind a blocking circle (shown here in black) called a coronagraph. The ripples around this are artifacts of the imaging process. Beta Pictoris b, a gas giant planet about twelve times the mass of Jupiter, appears as a dot above and to the left of the black circle.

The outer image shows the thermal emission from the warm disk of material surrounding the young star beta Pictoris. As we are viewing this disk edge-on it appears as a line. This disk of gas and dust provided the material to form beta Pictoris b.


Credit: ESO/A.-M. Lagrange et al. Credit Link
Related glossary terms: adaptive optics , Exoplanet , Planet Formation
Categories: Exoplanets

License: Creative Comments Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Creative Comments Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) icons