Astronomers have found a star — destroyer of planets

Astronomers have found a star — destroyer of planets

American scientists have found a star surrounded by clouds of dust and gas. They suggest that this is not the cloud from which it formed, and the remains of planets or a brown dwarf, shattered star. Details of the study can be found in the Astronomical Journal.

The authors observed the brightness variations of the star RZ Piscium, located 550 light years from Earth in the constellation Pisces. The star paled very much (saving up to 10% of normal brightness) and irregular, from which scientists have concluded that it is covered by clouds of gas and dust.

The star is quite young, according to the researchers, it from 30 to 50 million years, but a cloud of dust surrounding a star during its formation, resolves over the first few million years of the life of a star.

“I am studying young stars near Earth 20 years and never seen anything like it. The majority of solar-type stars lose their protoplanetary disks in a few million years after its birth. The fact that RZ Piscium surrounds much gas and dust millions of years later, mean it, perhaps destroys, not creates the world”, — said one of the authors, an employee of the University of California-Los Angeles Benjamin Zuckerman.

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The authors suggested several explanations for the surrounding star cloud. She may “pull” stuff from close celestial bodies, eg a brown dwarf or a planet giant, and generates streams of gas and dust, or such a body already collapsed in the recent past. It is also possible that a lot of dust and gas was formed after the destruction of one or more massive gas giants in this star system.