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October 11 2013

Watery asteroid discovered in dying star points to habitable exoplanets


Astronomers have found the shattered remains of an asteroid that contained huge amounts of water orbiting an exhausted star, or white dwarf. This suggests that the star GD 61 and its planetary system located about 150 light years away and at the end of its life had the potential to contain Earth-like exoplanets, they say.

This is the first time that both water and a rocky surface - two "key ingredients" for habitable planets - have been found together beyond our solar system.

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