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Astronomers spy nearby stars that could chopping a planet



by SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer

This illustration provided by NASA shows debris around the star RW Aur A, about 450 light-years from Earth. (M. Weiss / CXC / NASA via AP)

Astronomers may have caught a relatively close star chewing on a planet or miniplanets.

A NASA space telescope noted that the star suddenly looked a bit strange last year. The Chandra X-Ray Observatory discovered on the edge of the only 10 million year old star, a 30-fold increase in iron and a significant blackout.

Astronomers have observed the star in the constellation Taurus – for decades, the iron levels were not high when the Chandra telescope was last viewed in 2015. The star called RW Aur A is 450 light-years away. One Light Year is 5.9 Billion Miles

Hans Moritz Günther, a scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said he had never seen such a thing and called it "a lot stranger than we thought we would see it." he has never seen a star change its iron wealth, "he said.

Günther said that one possible simple explanation would be that the star eats a planet or miniplanets, he looked at other possible explanations, and from the computer simulations show it can happen, but it's never been seen before, he said.

External experts are cautious.

"This could be an exciting discovery," he said. but the evidence is cumbersome and not final, "said Harvard's Avi Loeb.

Guenther's preferred explanation is speculative, said Alan Boss of the Carnegie Institution of Science, a m experts for planets outside our solar system.

The study is in the Astronomical Journal of Wednesday.

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Department of Science Education of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. All content is the sole responsibility of the AP.


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