Scientists claim rings of debris formed in the aftermath of stellar explosions could fuel the birth of new, rocky planets around dead starts. Additionally, they could also provide an alternative way to create black holes.
Using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, researchers detected a cool disk of material glowing in infrared light around a young X-ray pulsar, a type of neutron star that sends out regular, directed pulses of radiation like a lighthouse beam. A neutron star is a dead star that has lost most of its material in an explosion.
The finding was to be announced at a NASA teleconference today and will be detailed in the April 6 issue of the journal Nature.