The β Pictoris disk imaged by Herschel PACS and SPIRE

B. Vandenbussche, B. Sibthorpe, B. Acke, E. Pantin, G. Olofsson, C. Waelkens, C. Dominik, M. J. Barlow, J. A. D. L. Blommaert, J. Bouwman, A. Brandeker, M. Cohen, W. De Meester, W. R.F. Dent, K. Exter, J. Di Francesco, M. Fridlund, W. K. Gear, A. M. Glauser, H. L. GomezJ. S. Greaves, P. C. Hargrave, P. M. Harvey, Th Henning, A. M. Heras, M. R. Hogerheijde, W. S. Holland, R. Huygen, R. J. Ivison, C. Jean, S. J. Leeks, T. L. Lim, R. Liseau, B. C. Matthews, D. A. Naylor, G. L. Pilbratt, E. T. Polehampton, S. Regibo, P. Royer, A. Sicilia-Aguilar, B. M. Swinyard, H. Walker, R. Wesson

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


We obtained Herschel PACS and SPIRE images of the thermal emission of the debris disk around the A5V star β Pic. The disk is well resolved in the PACS filters at 70, 100, and 160 μm. The surface brightness profiles between 70 and 160 μm show no significant asymmetries along the disk, and are compatible with 90% of the emission between 70 and 160 μm originating in a region closer than 200 AU to the star. Although only marginally resolving the debris disk, the maps obtained in the SPIRE 250-500 μm filters provide full-disk photometry, completing the SED over a few octaves in wavelength that had been previously inaccessible. The small far-infrared spectral index (β = 0.34) indicates that the grain size distribution in the inner disk (<200 AU) is inconsistent with a local collisional equilibrium. The size distribution is either modified by non-equilibrium effects, or exhibits a wavy pattern, caused by an under-abundance of impactors which have been removed by radiation pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL133
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2010


  • Circumstellar matter
  • Planetary systems
  • Stars: early-type
  • Stars: individual: β Pic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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