Beta Pictoris
282 of 4070

Beta Pictoris

March 13, 2014
This artist's concept illustrates the preferred model for explaining ALMA observations of Beta Pictoris. The new observations from ALMA now show that the disc around the star is permeated by carbon monoxide gas. The presence of carbon monoxide could indicate that the Beta Pictoris planetary system may eventually become a good habitat for life. At the outer fringes of the system, the gravitational influence of a hypothetical giant planet (bottom left) captures comets into a dense, massive swarm (right) where frequent collisions occur.

Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/F. Reddy

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