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33.6 MB (1.3 MB compressed)
4200 x 2800 pixels
35.6 x 23.6 cm ⏐ 14.0 x 9.3 in (300dpi)
CHRIS BUTLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRIS BUTLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Vega star. Artwork of the star Vega (Alpha Lyrae, white, centre) surrounded by its ring system. Vega is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra and the fifth brightest star in the sky. It is surrounded by a ring system that is thought to be composed of dust particles and small objects that resemble meteors. The origin of the system is uncertain, but it may have formed from material left from the formation of the star. Here several gaps in the system are seen. These are caused by the accretion of the ring material into larger bodies, caused by Vega's gravity. This is one method by which planetary systems may form around stars.
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