Hubble Space Telescope catches dead star in cosmic cannibalism

The Hubble Space Telescope has spotted evidence of a white dwarf star devouring rocky and icy material from its own system, suggesting that water and other volatiles might be common in the outer reaches of planetary systems.

Astronomers used archival data from the Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories to analyze the spectral properties of the white dwarf star G238-44. The elements detected on the star’s surface show that the dead star is siphoning debris from its system’s inner and outer reaches.

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