Following dust may hold key to finding new planets

Infrared data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory has found a dusty star system, which might help in finding new planets.

ANI| Last Updated: Nov 11, 2014, 11:15 AM IST

Washington: Infrared data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory has found a dusty star system, which might help in finding new planets.

According to scientist studying HD 95086, which appears to be a beefed-up version of our solar system, is located 295 light-years from Earth in the constellation Carina, is thought to include two belts of dust, which lie within the newfound outer dust halo.

One of these belts is warm and closer to its star, as is the case with our solar system's asteroid belt, while the second belt is cooler and farther out, similar to our own Kuiper belt of icy comets.

Kate Su, an associate astronomer at the University of Arizona, Tucson, and lead author of the paper said that by looking at other star systems like these, they can piece together how our own solar system came to be.

Within our solar system, the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are sandwiched between the two dust belts. Scientists think something similar is happening in the star system HD 95086, only on larger scales.

One planet, about five times the mass of Jupiter, is already known to sit right inside HD 95086 's cooler belt, while other massive planets may be lurking between the two dust belts, waiting to be discovered.