Beta Pictoris

Optical and infrared images of Beta (b) Pictoris, a Sun-like star 50 light-years away, show it ringed by a disk of softly glowing material, with a clearing at its center about the size of our inner solar system.

since instruments are not yet sensitive enough to detect Earth-like planets. Very few of these systems resemble the Sun's. There are many planets in highly elliptical orbits and a significant number of "hot Jupiters"—giant planets orbiting very close to their stars. Astronomers have also discovered large numbers of brown dwarfs—"failed stars" larger than planets, but too small to ignite as stars.

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