Alien asteroid belt detected around Sun-like star

An alien asteroid belt may have been spotted circling a mature star nearby. The observations, made by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, reveal a dense ring of dust around the star that might arise from rocks colliding and smashing each other apart.

Alternatively, the dust could come from a “supercometâ€? almost the size of Pluto, said Charles Beichman of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, US, at a NASA news conference on Wednesday.

Beichman and his colleagues used Spitzer to observe more than 80 Sun-like stars, including one called HD69830, which lies 41 light years away. Its infrared spectrum suggested it has a thick disc of warm dust grains surrounding it. The dust could be produced in a busy asteroid belt if large rocks are colliding every 1000 years or so, replenishing the ring.

And it could indicate planets in orbit. And we might even be able to freeze ourselves to make the long trip.

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