Some host stars absorb their planets – research

Some host stars absorb their planets – research


Some host stars absorb their planets – research

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Not all planetary systems are as stable as the Solar System. Scientists analyzed the “twin stars” and saw that many of them had swallowed planets.

They have their own conclusions published in the scientific journal Nature, informs Reuters.

Astronomers studied 91 pairs of stars with the same size and chemical composition that formed in the same interstellar cloud of gas and dust. They are also called “twins”. Although such stars move in the same direction, they are not gravitationally connected to each other.

Scientists have found signs that some of these stars have absorbed a certain planet. This is indicated by changes in the chemical composition – the elements that made up the “victim” are added.

During the study, the scientists looked for stars that differed from their twins by more iron, nickel or titanium. It is these elements that indicate the remains of a rocky planet.

It turned out that in seven pairs, one star showed signs of absorption.

There are two possible reasons why the host star “eats” the planet:

  • disruption of the orbit – a larger planet “bumps” a smaller one;

  • another star that passes too close and destabilizes the planetary system.

“It allows us to look into the perspective of our fortunate position in the universe. The stability of a planetary system like the Solar System is not a given.” – said co-author of the study Yuan-Seng Ting.

However, the scientists add: there is a small possibility that these were just the building blocks of the planets that they consumed during the formation of the system.

“We know that all stars like the Sun will eventually become giant. The Sun’s envelope will expand and eventually engulf the Earth.” Ting remarked.

However, all the stars in this study were in the prime of their lives, not nearing the end of their lives. This suggests that the instability of planetary systems may be more common than previously thought.

We will remind you, astronomers discovered a distant planet on the surface of which there is probably a “boiling ocean”.


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