Observations from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory suggests that scientists may have for the first time seen a young Celebrity devouring a young planet or planets.“If our interpretation of the information is correct, this could be the first time that we immediately observe a young star devouring a planet or planets,” Guenther said.
The study, published in the Astronomical Journal, indicates that the parent star, situated about 450 light years from Earth, is presently in the process of devouring the planetary debris resulting from collision of baby planetary bodies.
This discovery provides insight into the processes affecting the survival of baby planets.
Since 1937, astronomers are puzzled over the curious variability of the young star named RW Aur A.
Every few decades, the celebrity optical light has faded temporarily before brightening again. In the last few decades, astronomers observed that the star dimming more frequently, and for longer periods.
The new study will explain what led to the celebrity’s most recent dimming event – an accident of two baby planetary bodies, such as at least one thing large enough to be an entire world.
As the ensuing planetary debris dropped to the celebrity, it would generate a thick veil of dust and gas, temporarily obscuring the star’s light.
The celebrity’s past dimming events may have been caused by comparable smash-ups, of either two planetary bodies or large remnants of previous crashes that fulfilled head-on and broke apart .
“Much effort currently goes into learning about exoplanets and the way in which they form, therefore it is obviously very important to observe how young planets could be ruined in interactions with their host stars and other planets that are young, and what variables determine if they survive,” Guenther said.