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October 12 2013

Watery asteroid at distant star suggests possible Earth-like planets

CAMBRIDGE, England, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Water in an asteroid orbiting a distant exhausted star suggests the star may once have had potential to host Earth-like exoplanets, British scientists say.

Cambridge University astronomers say they've found the shattered remains of an asteroid that contained significant amounts of water orbiting a white dwarf star at the end of its life 150 light years from Earth.

The discovery marks first time that both water and a rocky surface -- two "key ingredients" for habitable planets -- have been found together beyond our solar system, they said.

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