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SDSS1228+1040

The white dwarf is surrounded by a dust disk with the size of only 1.2 solar radiuses. This disk probably emerged, when a further outside lying planet changed the orbit of a 50 km big asteroid, which then came too close to the dead star and got disrupted.
The progenitor star had an original mass of 4 to 5 times solar and was only 70 million years old, before it evolved first to a red giant, then to the white dwarf it is now. The dust disk must have formed when this evolution was finished, otherwise it would have been swallowed.

Constellation: Virgo
Age: circa 180 million years
Distance: 463 light-years
Mass: 0.75 * Sun
Diameter: 0.01 * Sun

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12/23/2006

    SDSS1228+1040
Graphic: Mark A. Garlick

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