Stock Photo - Spitzer Space Telescope set its infrared eyes upon the dusty remains of shredded asteroids around several dead stars This artist's concept illustrates one such

Stock Photo: Spitzer Space Telescope set its infrared eyes upon the dusty remains of shredded asteroids around several dead stars  This artist's concept illustrates one such.

Stock Photo - Spitzer Space Telescope set its infrared eyes upon the dusty remains of shredded asteroids around several dead stars This artist's concept illustrates one such ...  dead star, or 'white dwarf,' surrounded by the bits and pieces of a disintegrating asteroid These observations help astronomers better understand what rocky planets are made of around other stars Asteroids are leftover scraps of planetary material They form early in a star's history whem early in a star's history when planets are forming out of collisions between rocky bodies When a star like our sun dies, shrinking down to a skeleton of its former self called a white dwarf, its asteroids get jostled about If one of these asteroids gets too close to the white dwarf, the white dwarf's gravity will chew up the asteroid, leaving a cloud of dust Spitzer's infrared detectors can see these dusty clouds and their various constituents So far, the telescope has identified silicate minerals inhas identified silicate minerals in the clouds polluting eight white dwarfs Because silicates are common in our Earth's crust, the results suggest that planets similar to ours might be common around other stars

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