Water seen in rubble around star

Water seen in rubble around star

Debris was part of an asteroid that held the ingredients for habitable planets

By Meghan Rosen, 14:50 PM October 10, 2013

For the first time, astronomers have discovered the watery building blocks of Earthlike planets whirling around a star outside our solar system.

The star, GD 61, is a white dwarf: a dying star with a gravitational pull strong enough to suck in surrounding asteroids and planets. As GD 61 gobbles up orbiting bodies, it shreds them into a dusty cloud of rubble, says astronomer Jay Farihi of the University of Cambridge.

Using data from the Hubble Space Telescope, Farihi and colleagues analyzed the ...

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