Photo: Solar System's Fate Predicted by Nearby White Dwarf?



A comet is torn to pieces to form a gaseous disk around the white dwarf G29-3 in this artist's rendering.

Astronomers believe a similar process involving an asteroid is what formed a metal-rich disk of gas around the white dwarf SDSS 1228+1040, which sits in the constellation Virgo.

The unusual white dwarf system could offer a glimpse at what our own solar system will look like when the sun dies in several billion years.

Illustration courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech


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