Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Twin Star

Twin with Triplets

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This diagram compares the Epsilon Eridani system to our own solar system. The two systems are structured similarly, and both host asteroids (brown), comets (blue) and planets (white dots). Epsilon Eridani's inner asteroid belt is located at about the same position as ours, approximately three astronomical units from its star (an astronomical unit is the distance between Earth and the sun.). The system's second, denser belt lies at about the same place where Uranus orbits in our solar system, or 20 astronomical units from the star. Epsilon Eridani is thought to have planets orbiting near the rims of its two belts.

Our Sun's twin star Epsilon Eridani has a triple-ring system that includes two rocky asteroid belts and an outer icy ring. How cool! :-)

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