Like any crime scene, there's forensic evidence that can be used to work out who committed the deed and how it was done. This goes for "crimes" on a cosmic scale too; particularly when a planet is being ripped to shreds by its host star.
During observations of the white dwarf WD 1145+017, astronomers headed by Andrew Vanderburg, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), Cambridge, Mass., noticed the presence of several planetary pieces in orbit. They were detected by the Kepler space telescope (that is currently in i...
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