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Planet-eating star could be lurking in nearby cluster

13 Sep 2019, 14:39 UTC
Planet-eating star could be lurking in nearby cluster ESO/L. Calçada

An unusual set of chemical fingerprints spotted in the light from a distant star could be the remnants of a digested planet, according to a new study by researchers in Sweden. In 2017 astronomers making spectroscopic observations of several stars in the open star cluster Messier 67 spotted one – dubbed Y2235 – with elevated levels of certain elements on its “surface”. These included carbon, magnesium and oxygen as well as heavier elements such as cerium, iron and yttrium.

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