Saturday, September 18

Sun-like stars devour planets | Digital Trends Spanish

New research by Italian astronomers found that large numbers of Sun-like stars have devoured some of the planets around them.

The study was published in Nature Astronomy and led by Lorenzo Spina, an astrophysicist at the Astronomical Observatory of Padua, in Italy.

One of the main results indicates that up to a third of stars similar to ours have already swallowed their planets.

According to the authors, this discovery could help rule out star systems that no longer contain Earth-like worlds.

According to the researchers, when a planet is eaten, its heavy elements, such as iron, silicon and titanium, are scattered through the outermost layers of the star, and can be detected by astronomers looking for their own light absorption signals. of those elements.

“If a star is abnormally rich in iron, but not in other elements such as carbon and oxygen, this can be interpreted as the signature that a planet has been engulfed,” explains Spina.

To find out how often this happened, the scientists looked at 107 binary systems made up of two sun-like stars.

At the same time, those in charge of the study chose pairs of stars with masses and temperatures similar to each other.

In 33 of these identical pairs, one of the two stars showed very high levels of iron and lithium, compared to its partner. This reinforced the idea that he had absorbed some nearby world.

Thus, the scientists came to the conclusion that between 20 and 35 percent of the stars similar to the Sun had absorbed some of the planets that surrounded them.

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