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The debris disc around 61 Virginis seen by Herschel

The debris disc around 61 Virginis seen by Herschel

Date: 26 November 2012
Satellite: Herschel
Depicts: Debris disc around G-type star 61 Virginis
Copyright: Background: ESA/Herschel/PACS/Mark Wyatt, University of Cambridge, UK; Schematic: ESA/AOES Medialab

This image shows the debris disc around the star 61 Virginis as seen with Herschel at far-infrared wavelengths.

61 Virginis is a G-type star that is known to host at least two planets, which have masses equivalent to about five and 18 times the mass of Earth and orbit their parent star at 0.05 and 0.22 AU, respectively – much closer than Mercury is to the Sun. The debris disc discovered with Herschel extends between 30 and 100 AU from the star – well beyond the orbits of its known planets.

A sketch of the debris disc and the orbits of the two known planets is superimposed on the image. The relative sizes of the disc and planetary orbits are not drawn to scale: the disc is about 100 times larger than the orbit of the outermost planet.

The image is based on data gathered with the PACS instrument on board Herschel at wavelengths of 70 microns (blue), 100 microns (green) and 160 microns (red), respectively.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
15-Jul-2024 12:09 UT

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