View Full Version : Discussion: Dusty Disk Could Hide a New Earth

2005-Jul-21, 04:30 PM
SUMMARY: Astronomers have used the massive Gemini and W.M. Keck observatories to discover a Sun-like star with one of the warmest, dustiest environments ever seen. The disk around star BD +20 307 is warmer than most other planetary disks because there have probably been recent collisions between planets. In fact the heat is so high, the researchers think a collision recently occurred that matches a cataclysmic event in the Earth's past when a Mars-sized object smashed into our planet, and spun off material that became the Moon.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/dustiest_star__bd__20_307.html)

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2005-Jul-21, 05:32 PM
This is certainly going to be a system to watch. We don't know yet HOW close an analog it is to OUR early Solar System, but it is close enough to be able to bear some examples that will either support or disprove ideas we currently have about the early years of our solar system, and perhaps the period of bombardment.

2005-Jul-21, 07:19 PM
I've two lamps at home. One casts a comfortably bright white light in one room, but in another room I've a different textured and different colored lampshade. That room is comparatively dark and the light seems yellow. Its not the bulb though, its the shade.

I have some plates, very heavy, very pretty, that some have speculated contain a lot of lead. When I heat something on them, the plate itself gets hotter than the food, or so it seems. The microwaves are warming the metal. In doubt of the material content, these days I reserve them for decoration.

This led me to a question. Much of what we observe from asteroids and meteors in our solar system, there is a lot of iron and various other metals. I am wondering if the star in question here may have a sufficiently high radiation level on such wavelengths as to heat that dust zone, just as my possibly metal-rich plate grows hot in my microwave oven. Maybe the dusty disk has a different albedo and is therefore better at absorbing energy.

Between the lamps and the lead plate, I'm wondering if there are other items in the solution set than a planetary collision.

(Remember that cheesy old movie This Island Earth, I think it was called? Two worlds were at war and one finally prevailed and destroyed the home planet of a people who sent someone to abduct some earth scientists, as if these could know more they did? So here we found that planet and now the story's no longer fiction, right? :lol: )

2005-Jul-21, 07:51 PM
- A keen bit of lateral thinking lswinford
Much of what we observe and deduce is flavoured by past experience.
some time wishfull thinking gets in the way.
however the moment past data shows an error, the thinking corrects.
If your 'plate' was rich in gold the corrected data was different but the heating would be slightly more and futher tests would be needed.

-- I would presume now that further examination from other instruments will correct or confirm their deductions