WASHINGTON – 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 a 30-fold increase in iron and pronounced dimming on the edge of the 10-million-year-old star.
Astronomers observed the baby 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 Guenther, 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." We He has never seen a star that has changed its abundance of iron, "he said.
Günther said that one possible simple explanation might be that the star eats a planet or miniplanets, he looked at other possible explanations, and from the computer simulations show that 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.
Gunther's preferred explanation is speculative, said Alan Boss of the Carnegie Institution of Science, an Exp erten for planets outside of our solar system.
The study is located in this Astronomical Journal ] / *