Beta Pictoris planetary system, artwork

Beta Pictoris planetary system, artwork

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Credit: EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY/L. CALCADA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Restrictions: This image may not be used by or to promote the arms, nuclear power or tobacco industries or any religious organisation, or in any discriminatory way, or to imply the endorsement by ESO of any product, service or activity

Caption: Beta Pictoris planetary system. Artwork of the gas giant planet (upper left) and debris disk (diagonal band) around the star Beta Pictoris (blue, lower right). This young star (12 million years old) is around 60 light years from Earth in the constellation of Pictor. Initial observations of the disc indirectly suggested the presence of a planet. Later observations, carried out with the NACO (NAOS–CONICA) instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope in 2003, 2008 and 2009, confirmed the existence of this planet (Beta Pictoris b). It is at a similar distance from its parent star to Saturn's distance from the Sun, and is about nine times the mass of Jupiter.Restrictions:

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Keywords: 21st century, alien planet, artwork, astronomical, astronomy, astrophysical, astrophysics, beta pictoris, beta pictoris b, candidate planet, close, conica, debris disk, ecliptic plane, exoplanet, extrasolar planet, galactic, illustration, naco, naos, orbiting, pictor, planet, planetary, planetary disk, planetary science, planetary system, space, star, universe, very large telescope, vlt, young star

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