Comet storm rages in alien star system

Icy comets could be bombarding a nearby alien star system in a storm similar to the one thought to have brought water and other life-forming ingredients to Earth several billion years ago, a new study reveals.

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope studied a nearby bright star called Eta Corvi, which is located approximately 60 light-years away in the northern sky, and found signs that comets could be pelting the alien system.

The infrared telescope spotted a band of dust around Eta Corvi that strongly matches the chemical makeup of an obliterated giant comet, said Carey Lisse, senior research scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., and lead author of the new study.

The Eta Corvi system is approximately 1 billion years old, which would place it in the right time period for such a comet storm, the researchers said.

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