Volume 541, May 2012
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||18 April 2012|
A background galaxy in the field of the β Pictoris debris disk⋆
Instituut voor Sterrenkunde, KU Leuven, Celestijnenlaan
200D, 3001 Leuven,
2 UK Astronomy Technology Centre, Royal Observatory Edinburgh, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ, UK
3 National Research Council of Canada, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, 5071 West Saanich Road, Victoria, BC, V9E 2E7, Canada
4 ESA Research and Science Support Department, ESTEC/SRE-S, Keplerlaan 1, 2201 AZ Noordwijk, The Netherlands
5 School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University, Queens Buildings The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AA, UK
6 Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ, UK
7 Department of Astronomy, Stockholm University, AlbaNova University Center, Roslagstullbacken 21, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden
Accepted: 24 February 2012
Herschel images in six photometric bands show the thermal emission of the debris disk surrounding β Pic. In the three PACS bands at 70 μm, 100 μm and 160 μm and in the 250 μm SPIRE band, the disk is well-resolved, and additional photometry is available in the SPIRE bands at 350 μm and 500 μm, where the disk is only marginally resolved. The SPIRE maps reveal a blob to the southwest of β Pic, coinciding with submillimetre detection of excess emission in the disk. We investigated the nature of this blob. Our comparison of the colours, spectral energy distribution and size of the blob, the disk and the background sources shows that the blob is most likely a background source with a redshift between z = 1.0 and z = 1.6.
Key words: stars: early-type / stars: individual:βPictoris / planetary systems / techniques: image processing
© ESO, 2012
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