Beta Pictoris (MIRI Compass Image)

 Beta Pictoris (MIRI Compass Image)

Annotated image of star system Beta Pictoris captured by Webb's MIRI (Mid-Infrared Instrument), with compass arrows, a scale bar, and color key for reference.

The north and east compass arrows show the orientation of the image on the sky. Note that the relationship between north and east on the sky (as seen from below) is flipped relative to direction arrows on a map of the ground (as seen from above).

The scale bar is labeled in astronomical units and arcseconds. One AU is the average Earth-Sun distance. (In our solar system, Neptune orbits 30 AU from the sun.) Arcseconds is a measure of angular distance on the sky. One arcsecond is equal to 1/3600 of one degree of arc. (The full Moon has an angular diameter of about 0.5 degrees.) The actual size of an object that covers one arcsecond on the sky depends on its distance from the telescope.

This image shows invisible mid-infrared wavelengths of light that have been translated into visible-light colors. The color key shows which MIRI filters were used when collecting the light. The color of each filter name is the visible light color used to represent the infrared light that passes through that filter.



NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Christopher Stark (NASA-GSFC), Kellen Lawson (NASA-GSFC), Jens Kammerer (ESO), Marshall Perrin (STScI)

About The Object
Object Name Beta Pictoris
Object Description Debris disk
R.A. Position 05:47:17.08
Dec. Position -51:03:59.43
Constellation Pictor
Distance 63 light-years (19 parsecs)
Dimensions Image is about 3.6 arcseconds across (712 au)
About The Data
Data Description This image was created with Hubble data from proposal: (C. Stark). Image Processing: Alyssa Pagan (STScI).
Instrument MIRI
Exposure Dates 13 December 2022
Filters F1550C, F2300C
About The Image
Color Info This image is a composite of separate exposures acquired by the James Webb Space Telescope using the MIRI instrument. Several filters were used to sample specfic wavelength ranges. The color results from assigning different hues (colors) to each monochromatic (grayscale) image associated with an individual filter. In this case, the assigned colors are:   Cyan: F1550C Orange: F2300C
About The Object
Object Name A name or catalog number that astronomers use to identify an astronomical object.
Object Description The type of astronomical object.
R.A. Position Right ascension – analogous to longitude – is one component of an object's position.
Dec. Position Declination – analogous to latitude – is one component of an object's position.
Constellation One of 88 recognized regions of the celestial sphere in which the object appears.
Distance The physical distance from Earth to the astronomical object. Distances within our solar system are usually measured in Astronomical Units (AU). Distances between stars are usually measured in light-years. Interstellar distances can also be measured in parsecs.
Dimensions The physical size of the object or the apparent angle it subtends on the sky.
About The Data
Data Description
  • Proposal: A description of the observations, their scientific justification, and the links to the data available in the science archive.
  • Science Team: The astronomers who planned the observations and analyzed the data. "PI" refers to the Principal Investigator.
Instrument The science instrument used to produce the data.
Exposure Dates The date(s) that the telescope made its observations and the total exposure time.
Filters The camera filters that were used in the science observations.
About The Image
Image Credit The primary individuals and institutions responsible for the content.
Publication Date The date and time the release content became public.
Color Info A brief description of the methods used to convert telescope data into the color image being presented.
Orientation The rotation of the image on the sky with respect to the north pole of the celestial sphere.