Beta Pictoris is the target of several planned Webb observing projects, one of which is led by Chris Stark of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and two are led by Christine of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. · Leader Chen. Stark’s program will directly image the system after blocking the star’s light to gather many new details about its dust. Chen’s program will collect spectra that will spread the light like a rainbow to reveal what elements are present. The three observation plans will add key details to the known information from this nearby system.
First, remember what we know about
Beta Pictoris, which has been conducting regular research on radio, infrared, and visible light since the 1980s. The star itself is twice as massive as our sun and has a higher temperature, but it is also significantly younger. (The sun is 4.6 billion years old, but β Easel is about 20 million years old.) At this stage, the star is stable and has at least two planets, both much more massive than Jupiter. But this planetary system is amazing because it is where the first exocomets (comets in other systems) were discovered. There are many corpses around this system!
Like our own solar system, Beta Pictoris has a debris disk that includes comets, asteroids, rocks of various sizes, and large amounts of dust of various shapes that orbit stars. (The debris disk is younger than our solar system’s Kuiper Belt and may be more massive. The Kuiper Belt begins near the orbit of Neptune and is the origin of many short-period comets.)
Dust and debris in this outer ring is also carrying out many activities. Pebbles and rocks may collide and break into smaller pieces, giving off a lot of dust.
When the solar system formed, the young disk was initially bright and dusty. In the first 10 million years or so, with the formation of planets and clear paths, space appeared in the disk. Over time, as the gravitational interaction with the planet slowly sweeps away the dust, the debris disk becomes thinner. The constant pressure of starlight and stellar wind will also blow away dust. Approximately 10 million years later, only a thin ring remains on the outermost periphery of the system, which is called a disk of fragments.
credits: NASA / JPLCaltech / R. Hurt (SSC / Caltech)
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Examine the planetary system carefully.
Stark’s team will use Webb’s coronagraph, which blocks the star’s light, to observe the faint part of the debris disk that surrounds the entire planetary system. Stark explained: “We know that there are two huge planets around β Easel, and a small belt of celestial bodies farther away. They are colliding and breaking apart.” “But what is between the two? How similar is this system to our solar system? Will dust and icy water from outside eventually enter the internal area of ​​the system? These are the details that we can help Webb figure out. “The
Webb images will allow researchers to study how tiny dust particles interact with planets present in the system. In addition, Webb will detail all the fine dust that flows from these objects, allowing researchers to deduce the existence of Larger rocky objects and their distribution in They will also carefully assess how dust scatters light and reabsorbs it and re-emits light when hot, so that they can limit the composition of the dust. By cataloging the details of Beta Pictoris, researchers will also assess how similar the system is to our solar system, helping us understand whether the content of the solar system is unique.
Isabel Rebollido is a team member and postdoctoral researcher of STScI. She is already building a complex Beta Pictoris model. The first model combines existing data from the system, including radio, near-infrared, far-infrared and visible light from space and ground-based observatories. Over time, you will add images from Webb for a more complete analysis.
The second model will only have Weber data, and this will be the first model they explored. “Is the light that Weber observes symmetrical?” Repolido asked. Or is there “bumps” everywhere because of the accumulation of dust? Webb is much more sensitive than any other space telescope, which gives us the opportunity to look for this evidence, as well as the water vapor we know that there is a gas.
Dust as a decoder ring
treats the Beta Pictoris debris disk as an elliptical road with a lot of traffic, except for the one with few traffic rules. The collision between the comet and the larger rock will produce fine dust particles, which will then be dispersed. In the entire system.
“Behind the planets, it is believed that most of the mass in the Beta Pictoris system is located in smaller planets that we cannot directly observe,” Chen explained. “Fortunately, we can observe the dust left by the collision of asteroids.”
This powder is where Chen’s team will focus on research. What is the smallest dust particle? Are they compact or fluffy? What are they made of?
“We will analyze the Weber spectrum to map the location of dust and gas and find out what their detailed composition is,” Chen explained. “The dust particles are the ‘fingerprints’ of asteroids that we cannot see directly. They can tell us what these asteroids are made of and how they form. For example, in our solar system, do planetesimals look like comets? Rich in ice? Are there signs of high-speed collisions between rock microstars? Clearly analyzing whether the particles in one area are stronger or fluffier than in another area will help researchers understand what happens to dust and trace the subtle differences in dust in each area.
“I look forward to analyzing the Webb data because it will provide beautiful detail,” added team member Cicero X. Lu, a fourth-year PhD student. Student at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. “Weber will let us

By Peter

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