Narrow debris belts, like Kuiper Belt, may herald shepherding companion star
These two bright debris disks of ice and dust appear to be the equivalent of our own solar systems Kuiper Belt.
A survey by NASAs Hubble Space Telescope of 22 nearby stars has turned up two with bright debris disks that appear to be the equivalent of our own solar systems Kuiper Belt, a ring of icy rocks outside the orbit of Neptune and the source of short-period comets.
The debris disks encircling these stars fall into two categories - wide and narrow belts - that appear to describe all nine stars, including the sun, which are known to have debris disks linked to planet formation. In fact, the sharp outer edges of the narrow belts, such as the Kuiper Belt in our solar system, may be a tip-off to the existence of a star-like companion that continually grooms the edge, in the same way that shepherding moons trim the edges of debris rings around Saturn and Uranus.
Robert Sanders | EurekAlert!
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