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Resonant Dust Ring Sculpted by a Super-Earth

A planet twice the mass of Earth shepherds dust near its orbit into a circumstellar ring structure. Both the planet and the dust structure orbit the host star with a period of 5.2 years. Two regions of enhanced dust density lead and trail the planet, which causes periodic localized brightening.

This simulation was computed using NASA GSFC's 420-processor Thunderhead cluster. Stark used the cluster to create a catalog of debris-disk structures caused by Earth-like planets.

The catalog is available at

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This view shows the planet and ring structure from 30 degrees above the planet's orbital plane.    This view shows the planet and ring structure from 30 degrees above the planet's orbital plane.
Duration: 24.0 seconds
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Animation Number:10263
Animator:Christopher Stark (University of Maryland College Park) (Lead)
Producer:Stefanie Misztal (UMBC)
Series:Astrophysics Simulations
Please give credit for this item to:
Christopher Stark, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
SVS >> Dust
DLESE >> Space science
SVS >> Astrophysics
SVS >> Universe
SVS >> Planets
SVS >> Space
SVS >> Exo-planet
NASA Science >> Planets and Moons
NASA Science >> Universe

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Many of our multimedia items use the GCMD keywords. These keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version logo - the U.S. Government's official Web portal. + Privacy Policy and Important Notices
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