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December 22, 2006

Metal ring round white dwarf solves missing planets puzzle

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/audio/?podcastItem=white_dwarf.mp3

Dr Boris Gänsicke and Professor Tom Marsh from The University of Warwick’s Astronomy and Astrophysics Group within the Department of Physics talk about their recent discovery of a metal rich gas disc around a white dwarf in the Virgo constellation.

Length: 16 minutes

Summary:
What does the Astronomy and Astrophysics group do
Recent discovery of a metal rich gas disc around a white dwarf in the Virgo constellation
How does this relate to an apparent lack of planets around white dwarfs
How white dwarfs are formed
The planet that caused the disruption of the asteroid
The Earth’s fate in 5 to 8 billion years
Implications of the discovery for our own Solar System
Why is the system so rare
Does this have any bearing on the question of life on other planets
Next stage of the white dwarf’s life
Further research on the star
What will happen to the metal rich disc


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