Friday, May 24 2024 13:21 AEST

Twin Stars Reveal Planet Eating Habits

At least one in a dozen stars show evidence of planetary ingestion according to a paper published in Nature.

An international research team studied twin stars that should have identical composition. But, in about eight percent of cases, they differ, perplexing astronomers.

Led by ASTRO 3D researchers the team has found that the difference is due to one of the twins devouring planets or planetary material. These findings have been made possible thanks to a large dataset collected with the 6.5-metre Magellan Telescope and the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, both in Chile, and the 10-meter Keck Telescope in Hawaii.

The findings have wide-ranging implications for the study of the long-term evolution of planetary systems.

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