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Newly discovered planet survived the death of its star

An international team of astronomers has reported what may be the first example of an intact planet closely orbiting a white dwarf, a dense leftover of a sun-like star that’s only 40% bigger than Earth. 

The discovery is unique because stars usually destroy nearby planets as they begin to die.

“We know of many white dwarfs but finding planets around them is hard,” said Stephen Kane, a professor of planetary astrophysics at UC Riverside. “How did this planet manage to survive the end stages of its star?”

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