Share

News Release Archive:

News Release 20 of 215

May 9, 2013 10:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2013-18

Hubble Finds Dead Stars 'Polluted' with Planet Debris

Back

Image: Artist's Impression of a White Dwarf 'Polluted' with Planet Debris

Artist's Impression of a White Dwarf 'Polluted' with Planet DebrisSTScI-PRC2013-18 Artist's Concept

Screen-use options: These files are created for viewing on your monitor

Print-use download options: These files are designed to fit on letter-size paper

Highest-quality download options: The best resolution available


ABOUT THIS IMAGE:

This is an artist's impression of a burned-out star, called a white dwarf, accreting rocky debris left behind by the star's surviving planetary system. At lower right, an asteroid can be seen falling toward a Saturn-like disk of dust that is encircling the dead star. Infalling asteroids pollute the white dwarf's atmosphere with silicon. This element is not found in white dwarfs, but it is part of a rocky planet's composition. This "planetary chemistry" implies that the white dwarf's progenitor star had planets composed of Earth-like material, and that such planets are common around stars. The telltale chemical fingerprints were identified by the Hubble Space Telescope's Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS). The dead star is one of two observed by Hubble in the Hyades star cluster, 150 light-years from Earth.

Image Type: Artwork

Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)

NEWS RELEASE IMAGES

All images from this news release:

To access available information and downloadable versions of images in this news release, click on any of the images below: