When planets collide: Galway astronomer detects huge impact that stripped away atmosphere

Asia's Tech News Daily

A massive collision be- tween Earth-sized planets in a nearby star system that stripped their atmospheres has been detected by a Galway-based astronomer.

Astronomers interested in understanding how planets form have theorised that young planets grow by smashing into each other in huge impacts, which can reduce a planet’s atmosphere to dust and gas. This is the first concrete evidence to confirm this theory.

“As well as larger planets, these massive collisions can lead to the formation of satellites like the moon, but also produce debris that can be observed by telescopes on Earth,” said Dr Luca Matra, a lecturer in the Centre for Astronomy, School of Physics at NUI Galway, who contributed to the findings today in the journal Nature.

Dr Matra, along with colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), observed dust and gas left over after the collision of two planets orbiting a star called HD 172555.

They did this using a collection of 66 radio telescopes, working together, at the ALMA high-altitude observatory in the Atacama Desert, Chile.

“This is the first time we’ve detected this phenomenon – of a stripped protoplanetary atmosphere in a giant impact,” said Tajana Schneiderman, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science, who led the research effort.

“Everyone is interested in observing a giant impact because we expect them to be common, but we don’t have evidence in a lot of systems for it. Now we have additional insight into these dynamics.”

The HD 172555 star system is a hot young star at just 23 million years old where planets are being formed, unlike our solar system, which is 4.57 billion years old and where planets formed long ago.

It is an interstellar neighbour too at 95 light years from Earth and it can be viewed with the naked eye in the southern hemisphere.

Astronomers are intrigued with HD 172555 because it is somewhere nearby where they can watch as planets are being formed.

Dr Matra and his colleagues were specifically interested in discovering why HD 172555 had so much dust orbiting where its planets should reside, something that had been previously observed by other astronomers.

“Our ALMA observations unexpectedly detected a ring of carbon monoxide gas co-located with the dust in this system,” Dr Matra said. “This indicates, for the first time, that impacts can release large amounts of gas as well as dust and that this gas can survive long enough to be detected.”

The astronomers estimate that the giant impact that created all the dust and gas happened at least 200,000 years ago.

The collision had to have occurred at least that recently because otherwise the star’s UV radiation would have destroyed the gas.

“It provides evidence that young terrestrial planets, like Earth would have been in its youth, can have their atmospheres removed, or stripped, by an impact,” Dr Matra said. “The moon itself is believed to have formed from a planetary impact when the Earth was young.”

This research can also help search for extra-terrestrial life as even small amounts of certain gases can be found that represent signs of life on other planets.

Get ahead of the day with the morning headlines at 7.30am and Fionnán Sheahan’s exclusive take on the day’s news every afternoon, with our free daily newsletter.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


Parkdean Resorts currently has February half term holidays from £89 per family

Parents looking for budget-friendly family holidays may want to check out Parkdean Resorts’ latest sale, as the holiday parks firm currently has February half term deals from £89 per family. ... Read more »

Josh Duggar's trial starts on Tuesday. The former '19 Kids and Counting' star faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted on 2 child porn charges.

© Kris Connor/Getty Images Josh Duggar speaks during the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort Hotel and Convention Center on February 28, 2015 in ... Read more »

2021 BET Soul Train Awards Winners: See the Full List

The winners of the 2021 BET Soul Train Awards have been named. Presented by BET and hosted by Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold, this year’s show commemorated the 50th anniversary of Soul Train‘s legacy with Sunday’s ... Read more »

Pochettino exit terms revealed, as report details how Man Utd missed out on boss

© PA Images Mauricio Pochettino at Old Trafford A report has moved to explain how Man Utd missed out on Mauricio Pochettino, shortly after the interim appointment of Ralf Rangnick. ... Read more »

EJ Obiena confirms receiving offers from other countries before, but has 'no desire to change nations'

Photo: EJ Obiena/Facebook Olympic pole vaulter EJ Obiena on Monday confirmed having offers to change nationalities before, but insisted that he will stay a Filipino. In a Facebook post, Obiena ... Read more »

South African scientists explore vaccines' effectiveness against Omicron

Scientists in South Africa have begun crucial work to assess how well Covid vaccines hold up against the Omicron variant that has been detected in more than a dozen countries ... Read more »

Traveling to South Africa during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go

If you’re planning to travel to South Africa, here’s what you’ll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic. © Shutterstock Cape Town is ... Read more »

Alabama inmate who survived botched execution dies of cancer

Doyle Hamm had been sentenced to death over the 1987 fatal shooting of motel clerk Patrick Cunningham. Mississippi State Penitentiary v An Alabama death row inmate who survived a botched ... Read more »

Royal Family news – ‘Queen's Xmas photo snub prompted Meghan & Harry's exit' as BBC doc part two to air tonight

NEW book “Brothers And Wives: Inside The Private Lives of William, Kate, Harry, and Meghan” claims the Queen had an aide move a portrait of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex ... Read more »

Knicks benching Kemba Walker for Alec Burks in drastic point guard shift

The Knicks are making a drastic change at point guard. Head coach Tom Thibodeau announced Monday that Alec Burks will become the starter after a 23-point performance in his first ... Read more »

Leftist holds commanding lead in Honduran presidential vote

The Associated PressA campaign bandana of Free Party presidential candidate Xiomara Castro is seen placed on the statue of national hero Francisco Morazan after general elections in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Monday, ... Read more »

Strictly's Bruno Tonioli looks unrecognisable with dark tan and glasses as he dance with pal

STRICTLY Bruno Tonioli today looked unrecognisable with his VERY dark tan and glasses as he danced with a pal in a new video. The former Strictly judge is enjoying life ... Read more »

I faked my own WEDDING to get my ex to text me – I even paid for a photographer to take pictures with my new ‘husband'

EVER been through a soul-destroying break-up? Then you'll know all about the key stages you have to go through to be TRULY over them. First things first, your friends will ... Read more »

We Finally Know The Episode Count For The Book Of Boba Fett

Disney+/YouTube “The Book of Boba Fett” is the latest addition to the ever-expanding world of “Star Wars.” The upcoming Disney+ series is a spinoff of the mega-successful franchise entry “The ... Read more »

Expo 2020 Dubai: Sheikh Mohammed visits Algeria's pavilion

© Provided by The National Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, visits the Alegria Pavilion at Expo 2020. Photo: Dubai Media Office Follow the latest updates ... Read more »

Neha Dhupia's ‘man crush Monday' is all about hubby Angad Bedi & their adorable baby boy; SEE

© Provided by Pinkvilla Actor couple Neha Dhupia and Angad Bedi welcomed their second child, a baby boy, in the month of October. Ever since then, the couple are rejoicing ... Read more »

Amma Ariyathe, November 29, 2021, Written Update: Neeraja learns about Aleena

© Provided by Pinkvilla As the episode starts, Peter calls Mahadevan and informs him about Aleena’s accident. Neeraja and Aparna are shocked to learn the news and Mahadevan informs them ... Read more »

SpeakIn clocks annual recurring revenue of $1.4 million

© Provided by The Times of India NEW DELHI: Edtech platform SpeakIn is witnessing a high growth rate quarter on quarter with an annual recurring revenue of $1.4 million, the ... Read more »

Police investigating shots fired incident in Northwest Rochester

Nov. 29—Police are investigating a report of shots fired at a Northwest Rochester apartment complex that led to the discovery of more than a dozen shell casings. Rochester police were ... Read more »

Save Solutions acquires North India based regional housing finance company

© Provided by The Times of India NEW DELHI: Making rapid advances within the industry, one of India’s largest Business Correspondent Networks, Save Solutions has acquired New Habitat Housing Finance ... Read more »

Face masks unlikely to halt omicron variant's spread, warns scientist

People wear face masks at a bus stop in Brentwood, Essex, on Monday as further cases of the omicron Covid variant were confirmed in the UK – Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire ... Read more »

KBC 13: Amitabh Bachchan breaks down on 1000th episode with Navya Naveli Nanda and Shweta Bachchan; Here's why

© Provided by Pinkvilla 21 years is a long time – enough to build something immensely special and loved by the entire nation. When Amitabh Bachchan first hosted Kaun Banega ... Read more »

England Test captain Joe Root hopes to talk with Azeem Rafiq over racism row

© Provided by WION England test captain Joe Root has said he hoped to have a discussion with Azeem Rafiq after the Ashes series against Australia, which starts next month, ... Read more »

Rochester man arrested for hitting another man over the head with bottle

Nov. 29—A Rochester man was hospitalized Friday after he was reportedly hit on the head with a glass bottle by another man. Rochester police were called about 1 a.m. Friday ... Read more »

Domestic incident ends with stabbing in Denison

The alleged stabbing took place just after noon in Denison Sunday. A woman from Denison is being held at Grayson County Jail for stabbing someone following an incident Sunday afternoon. ... Read more »

Roja, 29th November 2021, Written Update: Roja reveals the truth to the family

© Provided by Pinkvilla In today’s episode, when Anu is about to leave, Arjun asks her seeing the fan, how she is feeling. Anu gets tense. Arjun asks Roja to ... Read more »

RBI allows private banks' promoters to hold 26% in banks; these banks will benefit the most

© Provided by Zee Business by Devanshi Asher The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed promoters of private banks to hold 26 per cent stake in the banks triggered ... Read more »

Janhvi Kapoor gives power suit a party-wear twist; take a look

© Provided by The Indian Express Janhvi Kapoor has an impeccable sense of style and she never leaves a chance to impress with her sartorial choices. From elegant drapes to ... Read more »

Bade Achhe Lagte Hain 2, 29th November 2021, Written Update: Priya's sweet behaviour surprises Ram

© Provided by Pinkvilla In today’s episode, Priya tells Ram she’s going to cook biryani and tells him that he can use any laptop and leaves. Ram looks at the ... Read more »

BP to build a second hydrogen production facility on Teesside

© Provided by This Is Money MailOnline logo Oil supermajor BP has announced plans to develop another hydrogen production facility on Teesside. The company said ‘HyGreen Teesside’ would help bring ... Read more »

Johnson must unleash SAFC's £3.6k-p/w “leader”, he may be a catalyst for change - opinion

© Provided by Football FanCast Sunderland, Black Cats, League One, Tom Flanagan After managing to secure all three points in their previous League One game against Cambridge United, Sunderland are ... Read more »

Firefighter could be fired for wiping butt on vaccination order

© Getty Images GettyImages-1065947166.jpg A Los Angeles firefighter could be fired after wiping his butt with a vaccine noncompliance letter. The unidentified firefighter received the letter after refusing to comply ... Read more »

"Might be convinced": Journo drops interesting WHUFC ownership claim involving Kretinsky & Gold

© GiveMeSport West Ham, London Stadium Journalist Paul Brown thinks West Ham co-owner David Gold could be convinced at some stage to sell his whole stake. Daniel Kretinsky recently bought ... Read more »

Coronavirus: 4,607 new cases confirmed in Ireland

© Eamonn Farrell via RollingNews.ie PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS have confirmed 4,607 new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland today. As of 8am today, 579 patients are in hospital with Covid-19, of ... Read more »

New World is being swarmed by fishing bots

© Provided by GamePur If you know how to fish in New World, then you probably also know about the many fishing bots flooding the game right now. They’re squatting ... Read more »

Ant and Dec overjoyed as I'm A Celeb return date confirmed after three cancelled shows

Ant and Dec are overjoyed that I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! will return to ITV on Tuesday 30th November. The hit ITV show has been cancelled for ... Read more »

Apex's new ranked system makes life easy for boosters

© Provided by Dot Esports Boosting is an issue that will always plague competitive games. There will always be players who want to advance in rank or prestige in the ... Read more »

Caught between Macron and the far right, French conservatives pick 2022 candidate

© Joël Saget, AFP / Studio graphique, France Médias Monde France’s conservative Les Républicains choose their presidential nominee in an internal party vote December 1-4, hoping to avoid the squabbles ... Read more »

MV Agusta Superveloce Ago Wins Most Beautiful Bike Of EICMA 2021

© RideApart.com MV Agusta Superveloce Ago EICMA 2021 Ago comes out on top yet again. Since 2005, Italian media outlet Motociclismo has held the Most Beautiful Bike Of The Show ... Read more »

Tennis-Gojo shocks Sonego to give Croatia lead over Italy

© Reuters/MASSIMO PINCA Davis Cup Quarter-Final – Italy v Croatia TURIN (Reuters) – Crotia’s Borna Gojo produced another shock as he beat Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego to give his country the ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic