Figure 11

Figure 11

A set of 3 profiles of the Ca II K line in Beta Pictoris taken over a 3 month period at a resolution of R=900,000 with the Ultra-High Resolution Spectrograph at the AAT; the spectra have been aligned at the stellar rest velocity (20 km/s). Note the presence of RESOLVED, broad red-shifted absorption which are attributed to the gas released as solid bodies (cometesimals?) are evaporated as they approach the central stars. Gemini, equipped with a fiber-fed high resolution spectrograph, could be used to trace the evolution of these and other features over a period of weeks and to compare the derived release rates with those observed for comets in the Solar System.