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Manwon Lender

NASA’s Webb Space Telescope to Explore a Neighboring, Dusty Planetary System

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Manwon Lender

A debris disk, which includes comets, asteroids, rocks of various sizes, and plenty of dust, orbits the star Beta Pictoris, which is blocked at the center of this 2012 image by a coronagraph aboard the Hubble Space Telescope. This is the visible-light view of the system. NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will view Beta Pictoris in infrared light, both using its coronagraphs and capturing data known as spectra to allow researchers to learn significantly more about the gas and dust in the debris disk, which includes lots of smaller bodies like exocomets.

As a solar system forms, the young disk is initially bright and thick with dust. Within the first 10 million years or so, gaps appear within the disk as planets form and clear out paths. In time, this debris disk thins out as gravitational interactions with planets slowly sweep away the dust. Steady pressure from the starlight and stellar winds also blow out the dust. After approximately 10 million years, only a thin ring remains in the outermost reaches of the system, which is known as a debris disk.

https://scitechdaily.com/nasas-webb-space-telescope-to-explore-a-neighboring-dusty-planetary-system/

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