Signs of the metals that make up Earth’s crust have been seen in the light coming from four dead stars known as white dwarfs, which may have consumed distant planets similar to ours

By Joe Paul
Artists rendering of a white dwarf surrounded by a ring of debris, with an asteroid breaking up under the gravity of the star
NASAs Goddard Space Flight Center/Scott Wiessinger/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
FOUR distant white dwarfs, the remnants of dead stars, have been spotted consuming what could be the crust of pulverised planets.
Mark Hollands at the University of Warwick, UK, and his colleagues have discovered that the material is similar to Earths crust, which could help reveal whether the formation of our own planet is a common process throughout the galaxy.
The spectrum of light emitted by …