PIA11736: Silicates in Alien Asteroids
 Target Name:  GD 40
 Mission:  Spitzer Space Telescope
 Product Size:  3000 x 2400 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  California Institute of Technology  
 Producer ID:  JPL 2009-001
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA11736.tif (21.6 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA11736.jpg (278.5 kB)

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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.

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