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Contact: Richard Hook
rhook@eso.org
49-893-200-6655
ESO

Artist's Impression of Beta Pictoris

Caption: This artist's concept illustrates the preferred model for explaining Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array observations of Beta Pictoris. The new observations from Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array 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/Francis Reddy

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Related news release: Crashing comets explain surprise gas clump around young star


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