December 2, 2023
Scientists said that after the violent collision of two planets, one of them lost part of its atmosphere

Scientists said that after the violent collision of two planets, one of them lost part of its atmosphere

Astronomers have found evidence of collisions between planets in a young planetary system 95 light years from Earth.

Based on the Analytics, the unusual dust around the young 23-million-year-old star HD 172555 is the result of a planet impact so violent that one of the bodies in question lost its atmosphere, at least in part. reach o Scientific alert.

When a star forms from a mass of dust and gas in a molecular cloud, a massive disk of material forms around it, feeding the growing star.

This record goes through a transformation, probably before Even from the star They finished their growth. Within them, several larger and larger bodies collide and merge with each other, eventually gaining enough mass for dissimilar nuclei to settle at their center, eventually turning into planets. However, not everything young planets Survive these relics.

These collisions are very common during the formation of a planetary system. In fact, they seem to play an important role in the way the planets grow, as well as in the final structure of this system.

The star HD 172555 has long been considered a bit exotic. The dust swirling around it contains an unusual amount of silica and solid silicon monoxide, and dust grains much smaller than average.

Star formation HH 212 in the constellation Orion

Upon closer examination, the scientists found that there was a lot of carbon monoxide orbiting the star at a distance of very close to ten astronomical units. However, at that distance, the gas must have been decomposed by stellar radiation, so an explanation was needed for the gas not having decomposed yet.

The most likely hypothesis is that a massive effect occurred. You are Astronomers were able Even a reproduction of the event under study: At least 200,000 years ago – which is recent enough that carbon monoxide has not had time to decay – a rocky Earth-sized planet was flattened by a smaller body at a speed of ten kilometers per second.

This effect would have been so violent that it would have caused at least part of the planet’s rocky atmosphere to explode. Thus, the presence of carbon monoxide and silica-rich dust can be explained.

The results of this research provide new tools for the scientific community to be able to determine when giant impacts like those described have occurred. If large amounts of carbon monoxide are found in places they shouldn’t be around a star, it could be a sign that something violent and destructive happened during the formation of your planetary system.