Belt of Dust

Spitzer_sig05-027_1024

spitzer_sig05-027 December 14th, 2005

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (SSC)

This artist's concept depicts a distant hypothetical solar system, similar to the one recently discovered with the Spitzer Space Telescope. In this artist's rendering, a narrow asteroid belt filled with rocks and dusty debris, orbits a star similar to our own Sun when it was approximately 30 million years old (about the time Earth formed). Within the belt a hypothetical planet also circles the star.

Using the Spitzer's heat-seeking infrared eyes, astronomers have recently discovered a similar debris belt surrounding a distant star. While no planets were detected directly by Spitzer, the narrow size of the newly discovered belt hints at the possibility of a planetary system. Just as small moons shepherd ice grains orbiting Saturn into discrete rings, and just as Jupiter tends the outer edge of our solar system's asteroid belt, astronomers suspect one or more planets may be confining the debris within this narrow ring around the star.

Image Source: http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/images/2405-sig05-027-Belt-of-Dust

Curator: Spitzer Space Telescope, Pasadena, CA, USA

Image Use Policy: http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/info/18-Image-Use-Policy

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Image Details

Image Type
Artwork
Subject - General
Star > Circumstellar Material > Planetary System
Star > Circumstellar Material > Disk > Debris
Star > Circumstellar Material > Disk > Protoplanetary
Spitzer_sig05-027_1280
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ID
sig05-027
Subject Category
E.3.7.1.   E.3.7.2.3.   E.3.7.2.1.  
Subject Name
Credits
NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (SSC)
Release Date
2005-12-14
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/images/2405-sig05-027-Belt-of-Dust
Type
Artwork
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
Instrument
Color Assignment
Band
Bandpass
Central Wavelength
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
Equinox
Reference Value
Reference Dimension
Reference Pixel
Scale
Rotation
Coordinate System Projection:
Quality
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
Spitzer Space Telescope
URL
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu
Name
Spitzer Space Telescope
Email
Telephone
Address
1200 E. California Blvd.
City
Pasadena
State/Province
CA
Postal Code
91125
Country
USA
Rights
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/info/18-Image-Use-Policy
Publisher
Spitzer Science Center
Publisher ID
spitzer
Resource ID
sig05-027.tif
Metadata Date
2012-10-11
Metadata Version
1.1
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