Neptune-sized planet orbiting a white dwarf provides first evidence a planet can survive death of its star

The Neptune-like planet discovered is thought to be more than four times the size of the Earth-sized white dwarf. University of Warwick discovered the ring of gas using the Very Large Telescope in Chile.

 

Evidence of a giant planet orbiting a dead white dwarf star has been found for the first time. Until now there was no example of a planet that had survived a star’s transition to a white dwarf – leaving little hope for our own planet’s future.  

 

Astronomers say the evidence for the distant planet comes in the form of a disc of gas created from its evaporating atmosphere.

The Neptune-like planet discovered is thought to be more than four times the size of the Earth-sized white dwarf. 

 

The giant planet orbits the star about once every 10 days, leaving a trail of gas comprised of hydrogen, oxygen and sulphur in its wake. 

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