Dying stars found the remains of their former planets

These planetary remains, which scientists have discovered, come from the outer layers of rocky planets similar to

Earth and Mars. If you study them, you can learn more about the history of their development and life cycle.

A team led by the University of Warwick analyzed data from the European Space Agency's Gaia telescope: they studied information about a thousand nearby white dwarf stars.

They used spectroscopy to analyze lightfrom a star at different wavelengths: this is how you can understand when the elements in a star's atmosphere absorb light, and also determine which elements they are and how many there are. They also studied 30,000 white dwarf spectra from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

In the process, astronomers discovered three whitea dwarf, one of whom was found to have potassium in its atmosphere. The attention of scientists was attracted by the white dwarf SDSS J1330 + 6435, located in the constellation Draco. In its spectrum, scientists have found absorption and emission lines associated with lithium and sodium - light alkali metals that are almost completely absent in the rocks of the mantle and core of the Earth and other rocky planets.

The outer layers of white dwarfs contain up to 300,000gigatons of rocky debris, which include up to 60 gigatons of lithium and 3,000 gigatons of potassium, equivalent to 60 kilometers of crustal density. The amount of discovered crustal material is similar to the mass of asteroids that are found in our solar system.

Accordingly, the discovery of traces of rocky planetsin their vicinity means that analogs of the Earth could have arisen in our galaxy even during its youth. This greatly increases the likelihood of life on other rocky planets in small stars that have not yet turned into white dwarfs.

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