It’s no secret that every once in a while stars munch on the planets, but scientists had no idea how voracious they may be and that Sun-like stars take part in this behavior as well.
Experts say the findings of their study will help astronomers to find out Earth-like planets and probably discover life on various other worlds.
Sun-like stars devour their own exoplanets, claims an international group of scientists. According to their study, released on 30 August in the journal Nature , they examined 107 sets of binary stars plus discovered an unusual detail – 33 of them had a different chemical composition from their twins.
This should become impossible, as binary superstars are formed from the same cloud of gas and dust and hence have to have exactly the same composition. Further inspection exposed that these pseudo-twins have components such as iron, silicon, plus titanium, which is a sign these stars have feasted on planets.
“ If a star will be anomalously rich in iron but not in other elements such as co2 and oxygen, this can be interpreted as a signature of planetary engulfment”, said Lorenzo Spina, an astrophysicist at the Astronomical Observatory of Padua, Italia and lead author of the study.
The scientists concluded that twenty to 35 percent of most Sun-like stars have ingested a few of their offspring. Can be our planet in danger? Lorenzo Spina suggests there is nothing to worry about – the Sun’s chemical trademark shows that it lacks heavy elements, therefore it is highly improbable that it has treated itself to planets in the past. However , the chance of Earth being swallowed still remains .
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