An international team of scientists has recorded evidence for the first time of the collision of two giant exoplanets Around a sun-like starThis creates flashes of light and clouds of dust. Researchers believe the collision involved a pair of icy worlds located about 1,800 light-years from Earth. This discovery is the subject of a study published in the journal Nature.
Changes in brightness
The study began after an amateur astronomer noticed that the star’s brightness doubled in infrared wavelengths, and began to fade in visible light after three years. Following the discovery, a network of astronomers was formed who intensively studied the star, including monitoring changes in its brightness over the next two years. The researchers concluded that the most likely explanation is that two icy giant exoplanets collidedproducing an infrared glow that was discovered by NASA’s NEOWISE mission, which uses a space telescope to search for asteroids and comets.
“Our calculations and computer models indicate that the temperature and size of the glowing material, as well as the amount of time the glow lasted, are consistent with the collision of two icy giant exoplanets,” said Simon Locke, a researcher at the University of California. Bristol, England, and one of the pioneers of the study. According to researchers, The expanding debris cloud resulting from the collision moved in front of the star about three years laterWhich leads to a decrease in its brightness. The dust cloud is expected to begin spreading in the coming years, causing light scattering that can be detected by the James Webb Space Telescope and ground-based observation equipment.
According to researchers, the collision sent fragments of rock and ice around the star. Create a bright planetary body. Astronomers are now planning to take a closer look at what happens next in this star system. “It will be fascinating to see new developments. Eventually, the mass of material surrounding the debris could condense to form an entourage of moons that will orbit this new planet,” said Zoe Linhardt, study co-author and researcher at the University of Bristol.
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