About the Object

Category: Illustrations

Star system Beta Pictoris (MIRI image)

This image from Webb’s MIRI (Mid-Infrared Instrument) shows the star system Beta Pictoris. An edge-on disc of dusty debris generated by collisions between planetesimals (orange) dominates the view. A hotter, secondary disc (cyan) is inclined by about 5 degrees relative to the primary disc. The curved feature at upper right, which the science team nicknamed the “cat’s tail,” has never been seen before. A coronagraph (black circle and bar) has been used to block the light of the central star, whose location is marked with a white star shape. In this image light at 15.5 microns is coloured cyan and 23 microns is orange (filters F1550C and F2300C, respectively).

[Image description: A wide, thin horizontal orange line appears at the centre, extending almost to the edges, a debris disc seen edge-on. A thin blue-green disc is inclined about five degrees counterclockwise relative to the main orange disc. Cloudy, translucent grey material is most prominent near the orange main debris disc. Some of the grey material forms a curved feature in the upper right, resembling a cat’s tail. At the centre is a black circle with a bar. The central star, represented as a small white star icon, is blocked by an instrument known as a coronagraph. The background of space is black.]


NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, C. Stark and K. Lawson (NASA GSFC), J. Kammerer (ESO), and M. Perrin (STScI).

About the Image

Id: weic2401a
Type: Artwork
Release date: 10 January 2024, 21:15
Related releases: weic2401
Size: 982 x 621 px

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