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This image of the circumstellar disk around the southern star Beta Pictoris was obtained with the 3.6-m telescope and the Grenoble Observatory coronograph. It shows (in false colors) the light reflected by dust around the young star at infrared wavelengths. The disk is very close to edge-on. This is a coronagraphic image, meaning that light from the bright central star was blocked out during observation making it easier to see the relatively faint dust. The Beta Pic disk is very likely an infant solar system in the process of forming terrestrial planets. [June 1997] Credit: Jean-Luc Beuzit, et al. Grenoble Observatory, European Southern Observatory


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