CosmoView Episode 34: Rocky Exoplanets Are Even Stranger Than We Thought

According to new research by a NOIRLab astronomer and a geologist, rocky exoplanets are even stranger than previously thought. By studying the atmospheres of stellar remnants called white dwarfs, the pair has discovered types of rocks not found in our Solar System. Each white dwarf is “polluted” with material from rocky bodies that originally orbited it but fell into the white dwarf and spread their elements through its atmosphere. Some of the rock compositions are so rare,  the scientists had to create new names to classify the types of rocks that once made up these ancient planets.


Images and Videos: NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/J. da Silva/NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Scott Wiessinger/ESO/M. Kornmesser

Image Processing: M. Zamani and M. Kosari (NSF’s NOIRLab)

Music: zero-project - The Lower Dungeons (

About the Video

Release date:Nov. 2, 2021, 9:05 a.m.
Related releases:noirlab2127
Duration:01 m 14 s
Frame rate:29.97

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