Research NewsAstronomy

Intruder in a Star's Dust Glimpsed

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Science  16 Jan 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5349, pp. 322
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5349.322a

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WASHINGTON, D.C.-- Images from the Hubble Space Telescope reveal pronounced warps in a dramatic disk of dust circling Beta Pictoris, a young star 63 light-years away. Researchers who unveiled the images here at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society last week said the bulges may betray the existence of at least one planet. But others suggested that gravitational nudges from a passing star or a large dim companion might account for the distortions.