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Rocky Finding: Evidence of extrasolar asteroid belt

Astronomers report that they've obtained the best evidence yet for an asteroid belt beyond the solar system. Such a belt would suggest that the star Zeta Leporis, which lies just 70 light-years away, possesses not only asteroids but rocky planets like Earth.

The new measurements pinpoint the location of a disk of warm dust that surrounds Zeta Leporis. The dust lies about the same distance from the star as the solar system's asteroid belt lies from the sun, Margaret M. Moerchen and Charles M. Telesco of the University of Florida in Gainesville and their colleagues report in the Feb. 1, 2007 Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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