Thursday, October 26, 2017

Sun-Like Star May Have Consumed 15 Alien Planets

 According to a new joint-international study, the distant star HD 240430, otherwise known as Kronos, is believed to have devoured over a dozen of its own Earth-sized planets.
 Astronomers discovered the star's abnormal diet while comparing its chemical composition to that of its stellar twin Krios. The results showed that Kronos had an unusually high level of minerals such as magnesium, aluminum, silicon, iron, chromium and yttrium - metals that make up the majority of rocky planets such as Earth. However, the star did not have an equally high level of volatile compounds, usually found in gas form, such as oxygen, carbon, nitrogen and potassium.
 The researchers noted that this abundance of rock-forming minerals was concentrated in Kronos' outer layers, rather than mixed through the entire star. In addition, it was confirmed that these types of minerals solidify at warmer temperatures - a common characteristic of rocky planets (which form nearer to their parent star than gas giants).
  Most metal-rich stars "have all the other elements enhanced at a similar level, whereas Kronos has volatile elements suppressed, which makes it really weird in the general context of stellar abundance patterns," Semyeong Oh, a graduate student at Princeton and lead author of the study, said in the statement.
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