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Dusty Old Star Offers Window To Our Future, Astronomers Report

Date:
September 13, 2005
Source:
University of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
Astronomers have glimpsed dusty debris around an essentially dead star where gravity and radiation should have long ago removed any sign of dust -- a discovery that may provide insights into our own solar system's eventual demise several billion years from now. The results are based on mid-infrared observations made with the Gemini 8-meter Frederick C. Gillett Telescope (Gemini North) on Hawaii's Mauna Kea. The Gemini observations reveal a surprisingly high abundance of dust orbiting an ancient stellar ember named GD 362.

An artist's rendering of what a dust disk might look like around the white dwarf GD 362. A more distant planet (upper left) may be responsible for "shepherding" the dust ring and promoting ongoing collisions.
Credit: Gemini Observatory/Jon Lomberg

Astronomers have glimpsed dusty debris around an essentially dead star where gravity and radiation should have long ago removed any sign of dust -- a discovery that may provide insights into our own solar system's eventual demise several billion years from now.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Los Angeles. "Dusty Old Star Offers Window To Our Future, Astronomers Report." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 September 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050910085650.htm>.
University of California - Los Angeles. (2005, September 13). Dusty Old Star Offers Window To Our Future, Astronomers Report. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050910085650.htm
University of California - Los Angeles. "Dusty Old Star Offers Window To Our Future, Astronomers Report." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050910085650.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

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