IR image of beta-Pictoris dust disc

IR image of beta-Pictoris dust disc

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Credit: D. GOLIMOWSKI, S. DURRANCE & M. CLAMPIN/ SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Candidate planetary system. Colour-enhanced infrared image of the dust disc around Beta Pictoris, one of the strongest candidates in the search for other planetary systems. The colours represent infrared intensity, from blue (nil) through magenta, red and yellow to white (highest). The dark circle at centre is the occulting disc used to block direct light from the star. Some 50 light years from Earth, Beta Pictoris is surrounded by a disc of silicate-rich dust, the building blocks of rocky planets such as the Earth. Closer to the star, the dust appears to be 'swept up', perhaps by young planets. More information in Golimowski et al pre-print in "Miscellaneous Publications" box on shelf.

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Keywords: alien planetary system, astronomy, b-pictori, b-pictoris, beta pictoris, circumstellar, circumstellar dust, cosmology, disc, disk, dust, dust disc, false-coloured, science

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