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Friday, December 09, 2022

The mystery of the star that eats the planet

It got even more strange: Some giant planets that gave off star-killing sparks could even form new worlds when they were solidified into star furnaces. “You can have a planet, and then eject some material, and that material can form a disk around a star that forms a new planet,” Yarza described the new planet as “rising from the ashes.” “As done. He continued, “You have a planet being destroyed, but that’s enough to create a new planet.”

Other strange observations include a stellar version of the adage “you are what you eat”: stars become rich in planetary elements such as lithium, allowing astronomers to identify cannibalistic stars by chemical fingerprints imprinted in their light. gets permission.

Melinda Soares Furtado, a NASA postdoctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and co-author of the study. “But the remaining signatures can be observed for very long periods of time – even billions of years.”

Two-star systems, known as diodes, are an ideal environment to see evidence of sudden consumption. Double stars are usually born together from the same gas and dust cloud, which makes them chemically similar. But according to a 2021 study published in Natural Astronomy, about 25% to 30% of Sun-like stars in binaries have odd signs that are “a source of tension between theory and observation.”

Lorenzo Spina, an astrophysicist at the Astronomical Observatory of Padua in Italy and study author, believes these chemical differences may reveal the remains of a different world. While it is not clear how often planets experience this apocalypse – the path of collisions with stars – may be a major factor in assessing the potential habitability of other systems.

“We didn’t want a situation when we were looking for a planetary system that could host life,” Dr. Spina. “We want to find stars that host ‘boring’ planetary systems, say, like our own planetary system, which we know hasn’t changed much in the past.”

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