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Webb telescope reveals asteroid collision in neighboring star system


Waspie_Dwarf

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Webb telescope reveals asteroid collision in neighboring star system

The observations spotlight the volatile processes that shape star systems like our own, offering a unique glimpse into the primordial stages of planetary formation

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Astronomers have captured what appears to be a snapshot of a massive collision of giant asteroids in Beta Pictoris, a neighboring star system known for its early age and tumultuous planet-forming activity.

The observations spotlight the volatile processes that shape star systems like our own, offering a unique glimpse into the primordial stages of planetary formation.

Read More: ➡️ Johns Hopkins University

 

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The Webb telescope has given us a spectacular view of the universes, secrets to discover and the shear  beauty of looking into time itself. 

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When Spitzer collected the earlier data, scientists assumed something like small bodies grinding down would stir and replenish the dust steadily over time. But Webb's new observations show the dust disappeared and was not replaced. The amount of dust kicked up is about 100,000 times the size of the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, 

https://hub.jhu.edu/2024/06/10/webb-telescope-asteroid-collision-beta-pictoris/

 

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The Chicxulub impactor, as it is called, was somewhere between 10 and 15 kilometres in diameter. Link

 

So two objects each at least 50,000 times the mass of the Chicxulub impactor collided and exploded into dust? And what if that did not occur twenty years ago but forty years or sixty years ago? What might have been their mass in that case? Each 500,000 times the mass of the Chicxulub impactor?

 

I am sceptical. It appears to have been a somewhat unique event and we just happened to be lucky to have observed the aftermath? I do not believe that. (I may be wrong, but nevertheless ...)

 

It seems to me that the dust must have come from somewhere else: either from a massive collision against a planet (two planets have been directly imaged); I am very sceptical again as regards this possibility. Or the dust came from the star itself.

 

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Beta Pictoris shows an excess of infrared emission compared to normal stars of its type, which is caused by large quantities of dust and gas (including carbon monoxide) near the star

Analysis of the spectrum reveals that the star contains a slightly higher ratio of heavy elements, which are termed metals in astronomy, to hydrogen than the Sun. ...

In the case of Beta Pictoris, the value of [M/H] is 0.05, which means that the star's metal fraction is 12% greater than that of the Sun. ...

Beta Pictoris has log g=4.15, implying a surface gravity of 140 m/s², which is about half of the gravitational acceleration at the surface of the Sun (274 m/s²).

a visual luminosity 9.2 times greater than that of the Sun.When the entire spectrum of radiation from Beta Pictoris and the Sun is taken into account, Beta Pictoris is found to be 8.7 times more luminous than the Sun. ...

Many main sequence stars of spectral type A fall into a region of the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram called the instability strip, which is occupied by pulsating variable stars.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta_Pictoris#Spectrum,_luminosity_and_variability

 

The above characteristics cause me to suspect that the excess dust that was observed twenty years ago was indeed expelled by the star itself.

Edited by Ell
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