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Asteroid Belt Found Around Vega

Vega, the second brightest star in northern night skies, has an asteroid belt much like our sun, discovered by a University of Arizona-lead team of astronomers. A wide gap between the dust belts in nearby bright stars is a strong hint of yet-undiscovered planets orbiting the stars.

The findings from the Infrared Space Telescopes are the first to show an asteroid-like belt ringing Vega. The discovery of an asteroid belt around Vega makes it more similar to its twin, a star called Fomalhaut, than previously known. Both stars now are known to have inner, warm asteroid belts and outer, comet-filled belts, similar in architecture to the asteroid and Kuiper belts in our own solar system.

“Finding an asteroid belt similar to the one in our solar system and other nearby bright stars is exciting,” said Kate Su, an astronomer at Steward Observatory at the UA. Su is lead author of a paper on the findings accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal.

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