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Dusty Planetary Disks Around Two Nearby Stars Resemble Our Kuiper Belt

Release date: Jan 19, 2006 12:00 PM (EST)
Dusty Planetary Disks Around Two Nearby Stars Resemble Our Kuiper Belt

These two bright debris disks of ice and dust appear to be the equivalent of our own solar system's Kuiper Belt, a ring of icy rocks outside the orbit of Neptune and the source of short-period comets. The disks encircle the types of stars around which there could be habitable zones and planets for life to develop. The disks seem to have a central area cleared of debris, perhaps by planets.