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Dust Simulations Paint Alien's View of the Solar System

Dust ground off icy bodies in the Kuiper Belt, the cold-storage zone that includes Pluto and millions of other objects, creates a faint infrared disk potentially visible to alien astronomers looking for planets around the sun. Neptune's gravitational imprint on the dust is always detectable in new simulations of how this dust moves through the solar system. By ramping up the collision rate, the simulations show how the distant view of the solar system might have changed over its history. More here.
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More information on this topic available at:
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/dust-model.html

Short video about the Kuiper Belt and the new supercomputer model of its evolution.    Short video about the Kuiper Belt and the new supercomputer model of its evolution.

For complete transcript, click here.
Duration: 2.8 minutes
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Super computer simulation of Kuiper belt with dates. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Marc Kuchner and Christopher Stark    Super computer simulation of Kuiper belt with dates.

Credit: NASA/GSFC/Marc Kuchner and Christopher Stark
Duration: 27.0 seconds
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Super computer simulation of Kuiper belt without dates. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Marc Kuchner and Christopher Stark    Super computer simulation of Kuiper belt without dates.

Credit: NASA/GSFC/Marc Kuchner and Christopher Stark
Duration: 27.0 seconds
Available formats:
  1280x720 (29.97 fps) QT         249 MB
  1280x720 (29.97 fps) MPEG-4   13 MB
  1280x720 (30 fps) QT         13 MB
  1280x720 (29.97 fps) QT         5 MB
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These images, produced by computer models that track the movement of icy grains, represent infrared snapshots of  Kuiper Belt dust as seen by a distant observer. For the first time, the models include the effects of collisions among grains. By ramping up the collision rate, the simulations show how the distant view of the solar system might have changed over its history. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Marc Kuchner and Christopher Stark    These images, produced by computer models that track the movement of icy grains, represent infrared snapshots of Kuiper Belt dust as seen by a distant observer. For the first time, the models include the effects of collisions among grains. By ramping up the collision rate, the simulations show how the distant view of the solar system might have changed over its history.

Credit: NASA/GSFC/Marc Kuchner and Christopher Stark

Available formats:
  5000 x 5682     JPEG       4 MB


These images, produced by computer models that track the movement of icy grains, represent infrared snapshots of  Kuiper Belt dust as seen by a distant observer. For the first time, the models include the effects of collisions among grains. By ramping up the collision rate, the simulations show how the distant view of the solar system might have changed over its history. No Labels. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Marc Kuchner and Christopher Stark    These images, produced by computer models that track the movement of icy grains, represent infrared snapshots of Kuiper Belt dust as seen by a distant observer. For the first time, the models include the effects of collisions among grains. By ramping up the collision rate, the simulations show how the distant view of the solar system might have changed over its history. No Labels.

Credit: NASA/GSFC/Marc Kuchner and Christopher Stark

Available formats:
  5000 x 5682     JPEG       4 MB


Simulated images of the ancient Kuiper Belt bear a striking resemblance to this Hubble Space Telescope view of the dusty ring around Fomalhaut, a young star located 25 light-years away in the constellation Piscis Austrinus. In 2008, Hubble spotted a planet orbiting inside the ring. The bright central star is masked out so that the faint ring can be seen. Credit: NASA/ESA/P. Kalas, J. Graham, E. Chiang, E. Kite (Univ. of California, Berkeley), M. Clampin (Goddard Space Flight Center), M. Fitzgerald (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), and K. Stapelfeldt and J. Krist (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)    Simulated images of the ancient Kuiper Belt bear a striking resemblance to this Hubble Space Telescope view of the dusty ring around Fomalhaut, a young star located 25 light-years away in the constellation Piscis Austrinus. In 2008, Hubble spotted a planet orbiting inside the ring. The bright central star is masked out so that the faint ring can be seen.

Credit: NASA/ESA/P. Kalas, J. Graham, E. Chiang, E. Kite (Univ. of California, Berkeley), M. Clampin (Goddard Space Flight Center), M. Fitzgerald (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), and K. Stapelfeldt and J. Krist (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

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Short URL to This Page:http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?10635
Animation Number:10635
Completed:2010-08-26
Animators:Chris Smith (HTSI)
 Scott Wiessinger (UMBC)
Interviewee:Christopher Stark (University of Maryland College Park)
Narrator:Chris Smith (HTSI)
Producer:Scott Wiessinger (UMBC)
Scientists:Christopher Stark (University of Maryland College Park)
 Marc Kuchner (NASA/GSFC)
Writer:Francis Reddy (SPSYS)
Series:Narrated Movies
 Goddard Shorts
 Astrophysics Simulations
 Astrophysics Stills
 Astrophysics Features
Goddard TV Tape:G2010-101 -- Dust Ring
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. However, each image should be credited as indicated above.
 
Keywords:
SVS >> Dust
SVS >> HDTV
DLESE >> Space science
SVS >> Hubble Space Telescope
SVS >> Solar System
SVS >> Exo-planet
SVS >> Neptune
Science paper:http://iopscience.iop.org/1538-3881/140/4/1007
 
 


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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 8.0.0.0.0

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