Planets and Moons  Universe  ID: 10635

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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Chris Smith (HTSI): Animator
Scott Wiessinger (UMBC): Animator
Christopher Stark (University of Maryland College Park): Interviewee
Chris Smith (HTSI): Narrator
Scott Wiessinger (UMBC): Producer
Christopher Stark (University of Maryland College Park): Scientist
Marc Kuchner (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Francis Reddy (SPSYS): Writer
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. However, each image should be credited as indicated above.