NASA/JPL-Caltech

Scientists just found a planet circling a dead star

For the first time, researchers have discovered a planet orbiting what’s left of an exploded star, New Scientist reports. The planet, which is similar in size to Jupiter, is about 12,000 light-years away from Earth, and locked in an extremely close orbit with its white dwarf sun, the researchers report this week in Nature. Scientists have suspected for years that “dead stars” like this white dwarf might still have their own planetary systems but had previously only found a single fragment of planet around a similar star. The discovery provides a peek into the possible future of our own Solar System—our Sun is about 5 billion years away from becoming a white dwarf itself, the researchers say.

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