Dead star eats water-rich asteroid
Date published: 14th October 2013
The researchers tell Science Magazine that the chemical signatures in the star's atmosphere indicate the asteroid must contain a lot of water.
This makes it the first time both water and a rocky surface - key components for habitable planets - have been found together beyond our Solar System.
The dead star is called GD 61. It has long since burnt through its nuclear fuel and has shrunk down to a dimly glowing ember.
But its gravity is still intense, and it is shredding rocky objects in its vicinity and pulling the debris into its outermost layers.
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