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Contact: Christine Pulliam
cpulliam@cfa.harvard.edu
617-495-7463
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Habitable Planet Orbiting White Dwarf

Caption: This illustration shows a habitable planet orbiting a white dwarf. A new study finds that we could detect oxygen in the atmosphere of a habitable planet orbiting a white dwarf (as shown in this artist's illustration) much more easily than for an Earth-like planet orbiting a Sun-like star. Here the ghostly blue ring is a planetary nebula - hydrogen gas the star ejected as it evolved from a red giant to a white dwarf.

Credit: David A. Aguilar (CfA)

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