View Full Version : Kuiper Belt-Like Disks Around Two Nearby Stars

2006-Jan-20, 12:36 AM
SUMMARY: After surveying 22 nearby star systems, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has discovered two bright debris disks that resemble our own Kuiper Belt, a ring of icy rocks outside the orbit of Neptune. These disks encircle the kinds of stars that probably have habitable zones and planets, and fall into two types: wide and narrow belts. Both disks are about 60 light years away from Earth, and look remarkably similar to our early solar system.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/debris_disks_kuiper.html)
What do you think about this story? post your comments below.

2006-Jan-20, 03:09 PM
Hi folks,

I am wondering on the pics how it can happen that on the left picture are dark starshaped rays and on the righter one dark wavy concentric rings visible! (OK they are on both visible, but extremly different powerful).
I have read about the light-bending-disc (I hope this expression is correct) on optical instruments. But these pictures are from the same instrument and so different. Is it just caused by the brightness and colortemperatur of the covered-up star or the longer exposuretime? :think:

Have a great weekend!


2006-Jan-20, 05:07 PM
Most of what you are seeing is greatly enhanced individual pixels - there is no real images in these pitures, just enhanced light trends that clearly indicate a ringed debries field exists. On HD53143, it looks like the pixels are enlarged more, and this could change the appearance of the pattern architecture. The actual 'dust' clouds' or what have you, are probably in a more random distribution than the lensing and enhancement artifacts seems to indicate.

This is a great discovery, and certainly increases the statistical probability life may exist on other planets.

2006-Jan-20, 08:49 PM
Is one of them seen face on, and the other seen from the side?

2006-Jan-23, 09:26 AM
Hi Jerry,

thanks for your explanation. :clap:
Sorry, I haven't thought that way before. But it's clear now.



2006-Jan-24, 05:25 AM
IF these Kuiper Belt type debris rings are really more of a common occurence than just a one-off in our own Solar System, as this story indicates, then perhaps we can develop a name for these icy bodies separate from the normal asteroid definition in use currently.

First that springs to mind is perhaps the most obvious, perhaps in future, all these objects could simply be called Kuipers? Or, if Pluto is eventually demoted, they could perhaps be called Tombaughs?

Just a thought....