Hubble Takes Best Picture Yet Of Beta Pictoris

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Hubble Takes Best Picture Yet Of Beta Pictoris

The Hubble Space Telescope has captured an amazingly detailed image of a dusty disk surrounding a star known as Beta Pictoris.

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.

Hubble images validate computer models

“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, which will help us to deduce the presence of other exoplanets in other disks.”

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By comparing the new Hubble image to previous images, astronomers observed that the distribution of the dust ha