Latest in Science

Image credit:

Hubble photo of a star can help scientists study how planets are born

Mariella Moon, @mariella_moon
February 20, 2015
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

The Hubble telescope has already taken a picture of the Beta Pictoris, a 20-million-year-old star surrounded by a large disk of dust and gas located 63.4 light years from our solar system, back in 1997. But in 2009, scientists discovered a giant planet orbiting that star once every 18 to 20 years -- the first planet they've ever seen that's embedded in a debris disk. So in 2012, they used the Hubble again to take a clearer picture of the star in visible light, which they've just released to the public. The image reveals that the disk has barely changed since 1997 and that the giant planet's gravity has distorted its inner part.

Due to this debris disk, the Beta Pictoris is a great example of what a young solar system looks like. All those rocks and gas, which are also the biggest source of interstellar meteoroids in our system, could be forming more new planets, and thus could lead to new insight on how planets are born.

[Image Credit: NASA, ESA, University of Arizona]

In this article: betapictoris, hubble, nasa, space
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

The 2020 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

View
My return to ‘No Man’s Sky’ was a reminder of death and the void

My return to ‘No Man’s Sky’ was a reminder of death and the void

View
Spotify Wrapped chronicles your 2020 listening habits in a stories-style format

Spotify Wrapped chronicles your 2020 listening habits in a stories-style format

View
Watch the trailer for Studio Ghibli's first fully CG movie

Watch the trailer for Studio Ghibli's first fully CG movie

View
iPhone exploit gave hackers control over WiFi without your input

iPhone exploit gave hackers control over WiFi without your input

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr