May 24, 2012

Rocky World Planet Turns To Dust

"Rocky World Planet situated to 1,500 light years away, disintegrates without remedy under the scorching heat of its star"

Massachusetts Institute of Technology and NASA Researchers have identified 1,500 light years away a rocky planet not much bigger than Mercury, which seems to be evaporating under scorching heat of its star. A long trail of debris, much like a comet, continues to this world as a permanent reminder of what will be its tragic end. According to the team's calculations, the exoplanet will disintegrate completely within 100 million years.

Rocky World Planet

The Researchers found that rocky planet is dusty and circles its star every 15 hours, one of the planetary orbits shortest ever observed. A walk is so short that both bodies are very close, so the planet must be heated by its star at a temperature of nearly 2,000°C. Researchers believe that at these temperatures infernal rock material in the planet's surface melts and evaporates, forming a wind that carries the gas and dust into space.

The group's findings are based on data from Kepler, a space telescope that observes more than 160,000 stars in the Milky Way. The observatory records the brightness of each star at regular intervals and scientists analyze the data for signs of new planets outside our solar system.

Astronomers using the Kepler satellite usually identify exoplanets by searching for regular spots in the brightness of a star, indicating that something is up ahead. However, the researchers found a curious pattern of light in a star called KIC 12557548. The group examined the light curves of the star and found that its light was reduced at different intensities every 15 hours, suggesting that something was blocking the star regularly, but to varying degrees.

"Deaths extraordinary"

What happened? The team considered several explanations, including the possibility of a planetary duo-two planets that orbit each other, also revolve around the star. but in the end the data did not support this hypothesis. Instead, researchers came up with another possibility: that the different light intensities were caused by some amorphous, which changes shape.

The researchers investigated ways in which dust can be created and torn from a planet. If this occurs, this world must have a low gravitational field, like that of Mercury , so that the gas and dust can escape from the gravitational pull on the planet. It must also be very hot, about 1,982 ° C.

Dan Fabrycky, science team member of the observatory Kepler believed that this may be one of the many ways in which a planet may disappear. "The planets are not eternal objects can have extraordinary deaths and in this case the planet would evaporate completely in the future.

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