POSSIBLE ASTEROIDS IN VEGA CAPTURED FROM UAE’S FIRST SPACE OBSERVATORY

POSSIBLE ASTEROIDS IN VEGA CAPTURED FROM UAE’S FIRST SPACE OBSERVATORY

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In the heart of the desert of Al Wathba in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, several observations were conducted in Al Sadeem Observatory of Vega; one of the brightest stars in the night located about 25 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Lyra (the lyre).

Amateur astronomers, Thabet Al Qaissieh, Alejandro Palado, and Aldrin Gabuya found unusual moving objects in the limb of the bright star using the observatory’s main telescope Meade LX850 16 inches with SBIG STT 8300M and archived several images which could support a study of a possible asteroid belt surrounding Vega.  They believed they might have captured images of Vega’s asteroids. The discoveries have been coordinated with different experts for further investigation.

It is somewhat related to its first sighting using the Spitzer infrared space telescope of NASA and the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Herschel Space Observatory with the results discussed at the American Astronomical Society (AAS)’s annual meeting last January 8, 2017. Based on the analyses of these infrared images made by astronomer Kate Su of the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory and her team, there could be an existing huge asteroid belt-like band of debris surrounding Vega. These belts could comprise of a warm inner belt and cool outer belt with a large gap in between resembling that of Fomalhaut, the brightest star in the constellation Piscis Austrinus, which had a companion exoplanet Fomalhaut b discovered back in 2008. Comparing this system to our Solar System, it suggests that there could be multiple orbiting planets lying at these large gaps maintaining the debris path around Vega.

Comparison of Vega large asteroid-belt system to the Solar System Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

References

Ghose, T. (2013, January 9). Alien Asteroid Belt Discovery Hints at Hidden Planets. Retrieved from Space.com: https://www.space.com/19190-asteroid-belt-vega-hidden-planets.html

Telescopes find evidence for asteroid belt around Vega. (2013, January 8). Retrieved from Phys.org: https://phys.org/news/2013-01-telescopes-evidence-asteroid-belt-vega.html

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