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Topic: Steward Observatory

NASA reports evidence of large Asteroid Belt around the star Vega

 

Written by Whitney Clavin
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Astronomers have discovered what appears to be a large asteroid belt around the star Vega, the second brightest star in northern night skies. The scientists used data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory, in which NASA plays an important role.

The discovery of an asteroid belt-like band of debris around Vega makes the star similar to another observed star called Fomalhaut. The data are consistent with both stars having inner, warm belts and outer, cool belts separated by a gap. This architecture is similar to the asteroid and Kuiper belts in our own solar system.

This artist's concept illustrates an asteroid belt around the bright star Vega. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This artist’s concept illustrates an asteroid belt around the bright star Vega. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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