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Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

NASA's Spitzer Finds Hints of Planet Birth Around Dead Star

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"I find it very exciting to see direct evidence that the debris around a pulsar is capable of forming itself into a disk. This might be the beginning of a second generation of planets," Wolszczan said.

Pulsar planets would be bathed in intense radiation and would be quite different from those in our solar system. "These planets must be among the least hospitable places in the galaxy for the formation of life," said Charles Beichman, an astronomer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the CaliforniaInstitute of Technology, both in Pasadena , Calif.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the Spitzer Space Telescope mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at Caltech. JPL is a division of Caltech. For more information about Spitzer, visit:

http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/spitzer

SOURCE NASA


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