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Silicates in Alien Asteroids
Ssc2009 01a

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/M. Jura (UCLA)

Chart • January 5th, 2009 • ssc2009-01a


This plot of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescopes shows that asteroid dust around a dead "white dwarf" star contains silicates -- a common mineral on Earth. The data were taken primarily by Spitzer's infrared spectrograph, an instrument that breaks light apart into its basic constituents. The yellow dots show averaged data from the spectrograph, while the orange triangles show older data from Spitzer's infrared array camera. The white dwarf is called GD 40.

About the Object

GD 40
Star > Evolutionary Stage > White Dwarf

Color Mapping

Band Wavelength Telescope
Infrared Spitzer IRS
Infrared Spitzer IRAC