Labelled overview of the Hyades star cluster (ground-based image)

 
Labelled overview of the Hyades star cluster (ground-based image)

This image shows the region around the Hyades star cluster, the nearest open cluster to us. The Hyades cluster is very well-studied due to its location, but previous searches for planets have produced only one. A new study led by Jay Farihi of the University of Cambridge, UK, has now found the atmospheres of two burnt-out stars in this cluster — known as white dwarfs — to be “polluted” by rocky debris circling the star.

Inset, the locations of these white dwarf stars are indicated — stars known as WD 0421+162, and WD 0431+126.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, STScI, and Z. Levay (STScI)

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