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Debris discovered from a mysterious planetary system near Earth

Debris discovered from a mysterious planetary system near Earth

© University of Warwick / Dr. Mark Garlick

Astronomers have discovered the remains of one of the oldest planetary systems in our galaxy. Evidence for this was provided by 2 white dwarfssince when 90 And the 120 light years far from earth. You should more 10 billion years be old

White dwarfs are the cores of extinct stars. These weren’t massive enough to explode into a supernova and turn into a black hole or neutron star. Instead, they lost their outer shell and are now beginning to cool. They have high intensity but low illumination.

10.7 billion years

researchers University of WarwickUnited Kingdom, created 2 models of white dwarfs from the space telescope Jaya was discovered. Through simulations, they wanted to know how long the cores took to cool down. That’s why they used data from GAIA and Dark Energy Survey and spectrum instrumentX shooter” In the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

The investigation revealed that the star WDJ2147-4035 previously 2.5 solar masses It was heavy and about 10.7 billion years The old is. Where 10.2 billion years Cool like a white dwarf. shines reddish It consists of Sodium, Lithium and Potassium And the carbon. This makes it the oldest white star discovered so far.

second star WDJ1922 + 0233, a little smaller. It was chilling for him 9 billion years far. However, his exact age cannot be determined. shines blueBecause of its unusual atmosphere A mixture of helium and hydrogen lies.

The oldest system of the Milky Way

debris in Atmosphere From the red WDJ2147-4035 from an ancient planetary system. Scientists wrote that it survived the star’s transformation into a white dwarf, but was then swallowed by the white dwarf. This makes it the oldest planetary system in the world Milky Way.

“These metal-tainted stars are not unique, there are other systems with Earth-like planets. 97 percent All stars become white dwarfs. Since they are ubiquitous, it is very important to understand them,” says study leader Abigail Elms in the current situation. They were formed from the oldest stars in our galaxy, and therefore contain information about how the first planetary systems formed.

Earth-like planet

In fact, astronomers can use the minerals to understand what quantities were in the planets that were “gobbled up” by the white dwarf. In the case of WDJ1922 + 0233, this is clear: here you can find yourself Sodium and calcium And the potassium. From the quantity, the team concludes that a planet has devoured its crust with a composition and mass similar to Earth.

With the reddish WDJ2147-4035, the detection remains ambiguous. “Enriched planetary debris is rich in lithium and potassium and unlike anything in our solar system. The white dwarf is due to Metal impuritiesfor him very cold surfaceHis old age and the fact that he magnetic Extremely rare,” says Elms.

At the time these stars were forming, there were fewer metals in the universe. Minerals are formed by giant stellar explosions and in star formation. The two white dwarfs will thus provide a glimpse into how planetary systems form in a low-metal but high-gas environment, the researchers said. The results of the study were published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society chest.