- The planets orbit a sun-like star known as ASASSN-21qj
- An international research group was established to monitor this unusual phenomenon after an amateur astronomer noticed the sudden behavior of the light emanating from the star.
- It would be great to see more developments. Eventually, the material ejected as a result of the collision may begin to condense and form a cluster of moons orbiting the newly formed planet, the professor says. Zoe Lenhart, study co-author.
Scientists from the University of Bristol and colleagues elsewhere have described what may be the first-ever observation of the effects of a collision between two ice giants.
The planets orbit a sun-like star known as ASASSN-21qj. As a result of the collision, the two planets merged and emitted strong infrared radiation, and the dust cloud emitted into space weakened the starlight.
– In fact, this remark was a complete surprise to me. After showing the future visible light spectrum to other scientists, we began observing the collision with the help of a whole network of telescopes, says Dr. Matthew Kenworthy, co-author of the article published in the journal Nature.
For example, the infrared radiation emitted after the impact was recorded by NASA’s NEOWISE space telescope, which is primarily dedicated to searching for asteroids and comets.
An international research group was established to monitor this unusual phenomenon after an amateur astronomer noticed the sudden behavior of the light emanating from the star.
One astronomer pointed out on social media that the star suddenly brightened in infrared light a thousand days before it dimmed in visible light. “I knew it was unusual,” Dr. Kenworthy adds.
Impact of icy exoplanets
The researchers concluded that the most likely event is the collision of large planets.
“Our calculations and computer models suggest that the temperature and size of the glowing material, as well as the duration of the emission, are consistent with the collision of two massive icy exoplanet,” explains discovery co-author Dr. Simon Locke.
The researchers expect that within the next three years, the dust cloud will begin to spread into orbit around the star.
According to astronomers, the scattering of starlight that occurs there will be visible through ground-based and space telescopes, including the James Webb Telescope.
Moreover, particularly interesting phenomena may occur in the future. – It will be great to see what happens next. Eventually, the material ejected as a result of the collision may begin to condense and form a cluster of moons orbiting the newly formed planet, the professor says. Zoe Lenhart, study co-author.
Echo Richards embodies a personality that is a delightful contradiction: a humble musicaholic who never brags about her expansive knowledge of both classic and contemporary tunes. Infuriatingly modest, one would never know from a mere conversation how deeply entrenched she is in the world of music. This passion seamlessly translates into her problem-solving skills, with Echo often drawing inspiration from melodies and rhythms. A voracious reader, she dives deep into literature, using stories to influence her own hardcore writing. Her spirited advocacy for alcohol isn’t about mere indulgence, but about celebrating life’s poignant moments.