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Planetary Composition: The Planet Does Not Fall Far From the Star

Manwon Lender

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Stars and planets are formed from the same cosmic gas and dust. In the course of the formation process, some of the material condenses and forms rocky planets, the rest is either accumulated by the star or becomes part of gaseous planets. The assumption of a connection between the composition of stars and their planets is therefore reasonable and is confirmed, for example, in the solar system by most rocky planets (Mercury being the exception). Nevertheless, assumptions, especially in astrophysics, do not always prove to be true. A study led by the Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço (IA) in Portugal, which also involves researchers from the NCCR PlanetS at the University of Bern and the University of Zürich, published on October 15, 2021, in the journal Science, provides the first empirical evidence for this assumption – and at the same time partially contradicts it.


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A study led by people from my country?! I am surprised at this because usually its the other way around, plenty of time portuguese science teams are involved in stuff, like Nasa Mars rovers project, and usually are not mentioned.

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