'Death Star' Vaporizes Its Own Planet: 1st Evidence

October 21, 2015 5:14 PM

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'Death Star' Vaporizes Its Own Planet: 1st Evidence

A Ceres-like asteroid slowly disintegrates while orbiting a white dwarf star in this illustration. A similar object seems to be coming apart as it orbits one of the white dwarfs imaged by the Kepler Space Telescope during its K2 mission - the first object ever seen transiting a white dwarf.

The planet-destroying Death Star from "Star Wars" may be fictional, but a star at the end of its life and only a bit bigger than Earth could be its real-world twin: The star is currently destroying and disintegrating an orbiting planet bit by bit.

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