Death of a Solar System

Science  22 Dec 2006:
Vol. 314, Issue 5807, pp. 1837c
DOI: 10.1126/science.314.5807.1837c

At the end of its life, a star like the Sun blows away all of its outer layers and compresses into a white dwarf. Gänsicke et al. (p. 1908) have spotted the remnant debris from a planetary or asteroidal system orbiting a white dwarf. The disk of material is rich in heavy elements (metals) and shows a double-peaked emission line profile characteristic of material in orbit around a star.

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