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Home / Science / Maybe NASA has just caught a nearby star eating a whole planet – BGR

Maybe NASA has just caught a nearby star eating a whole planet – BGR



Planet systems are not born overnight. As stars form and begin to pull debris into orbit, some of this material eventually piles up to young planets, and the gravity of these bodies pulls down more and more material, ultimately determining how large a potential planet could be. But life is not easy for young planets, and astronomers know that stars and even some larger planets have a habit of decimating smaller worlds.

Now, for the first time, NASA has ever caught a star eating a planet. Thanks to Chandra's powerful X-Ray Observatory, launched in 1999, scientists believe they have discovered why a long-researched star occasionally darkens, and that's certainly wild. [19659003] The star, called RW Aur A, is believed to be very young, and its location, only 450 light-years from Earth, allowed astronomers to study it for many decades. What they've seen over the years has been pretty weird: RW Aur A is decreasing in brightness every few decades, but these burglaries are getting darker and longer and longer.

The Chandra X-Ray Observatory has allowed researchers to study dimming in detail as ever. Recent data has given the scientists reason to believe that darkening is caused by a growing cloud of debris orbiting the star, and this material is probably the remains of a young planet that the star is just destroying.

Computer simulations have long predicted that planets could fall into a young star, but we've never seen it before, "explains Hans Moritz Guenther of MIT and senior researcher of the study." If our interpretation of the data is correct, that would be First time we directly observe a young star devouring a planet or planets. "

The study suggests that the young planet was likely to collide with another smaller body. The impact was enough to affect both the planet and the planet to drop unknown object into the star. This is pretty metal.


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