• Reuters

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A new way of studying planets in other solar systems — by doing sort of an autopsy on planetary wreckage devoured by a type of star called a white dwarf — is showing that rocky worlds with geochemistry similar to Earth may be quite common in the cosmos.

In a study published on Thursday, researchers studied six white dwarfs whose strong gravitational pull had sucked in shredded remnants of planets and other rocky bodies that had been in orbit. This material, they found, was very much like that present in rocky planets such as Earth and Mars in our solar system.

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