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 its “K2” mission phase) and the total mass of debris is thought to be around the size of giant asteroid Ceres that is located inside our solar system’s main asteroid belt.
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Source Credits: Ian O’Neill in Discovery News