An international team of astronomers, including Walter Gear from MSSL, has announced the discovery of a ring of dust particles around a nearby star, Epsilon Eridani, that appears to signify a Solar System very similar to our own. This is a sketch of our own Solar System, showing the Sun and the giant planets (Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune) surrounded by the Kuiper Belt - a `ring' containing vast numbers of comets. A submillimetre image made using SCUBA on the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii, suggests that a similar system may exist around Eps Eri.
More information about this exciting new discovery may be found on the web
pages of the Joint Astronomy Centre, Hawaii in this special