Resonant Dust Ring Sculpted by a Super-Earth

  • Released Tuesday, October 7th, 2008
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:55PM

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


Please give credit for this item to:
Christopher Stark, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center


This visualization can be found in the following series: