According to American astronomers, a huge asteroid may have collided with one of the planets of the newly formed planetary system.

Twenty years ago, astronomers made a surprising discovery with the help of the Spitzer Space Telescope: They found a large amount of dust shining in infrared light at the star Beta Picturis in the constellation Painter, which is relatively close to Earth on a cosmic planet. scale, about 63 light-years away. They wanted to examine the area again with the help of the James Webb Space Telescope, but it turned out that the dust had disappeared.

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According to scientists from Johns Hopkins University, it is likely that the radiation of the young star pushed the dust away, which has cooled since then, so that it is no longer visible in the aforementioned area. However, if this happened, the dust did not come from a permanent source, meaning something had to have happened 63 light-years away. What happened, according to the explanation: the possibility of an asteroid colliding with one of the planets there.

Beta pictoris is a relatively young system, barely 20 million years old. The collision is probably due to the fact that the formed planets are now searching for their place, and during formation they collide with asteroids that have already been collected from dust. These formations will later turn into celestial bodies such as Earth, Mars, or Venus (this does not mean, of course, that there will be life on any of their surfaces).

Roberto Molar Candanosa/Johns Hopkins University/Lynette Cook/NASA

Christine Chen, a scientist at the university, analyzed the data with her team and concluded that a huge amount of dust was emitted after the asteroid impact: about 100,000 times more than when the celestial body that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs collided with Earth, she reported. Gizmodo.

Researchers are now trying to find an answer about how rare the formation of planets similar to the solar system is, and how common is the formation of celestial bodies similar to Earth and giant planets.

Scientists presented the results of the study at the American Astronomical Society conference.

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