Hubble Catches “Zombie Star” That Chows Down on Its Own System

Hubble Catches “Zombie Star” That Chows Down on Its Own System

NASA’s Hubble telescope is once again under the spotlight by uncovering info about the “zombie star” known as G238-44. It’s a white dwarf that likes to chow down on its surroundings. The celestial object is devouring solid material from vast portions of its own system.

The news is provided by, and it makes astronomers question even more about planetary systems. To come to their discovery, astronomers had also been using data gathered by other observatories besides the Hubble Telescope that’s operated by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA).

Is water common in the outskirts of planetary systems?

The white dwarf gathering material from different areas of its system at the same time might suggest the presence of water as a common feature for the outer parts of planetary systems in general.

Benjamin Zuckerman, who co-authored the research and serves as a professor emeritus in the UCLA Division of Astronomy and Astrophysics, stated:

Life as we know it requires a rocky planet covered with a variety of elements, like carbon, nitrogen and oxygen,

The abundances of the elements we see on this white dwarf appear to require both a rocky and a volatile-rich parent body — the first example we’ve found among studies of hundreds of white dwarfs.

The Hubble telescope also photographed the Abell 1351 lensing galaxy cluster recently, and it looked so well that it became the Picture of the Week. 

Hubble astronomers explained more about the image of Abell 1351, as quotes:

This Hubble image is filled with streaks of light, which are actually the images of distant galaxies,

The streaks are the result of gravitational lensing, an astrophysical phenomenon that occurs when a massive celestial body such as a galaxy cluster distorts spacetime sufficiently strongly to affect the path of light passing through it — almost as if the light were passing through a gigantic lens.

Anybody else feels too small today?


Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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