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The Star That Ate Its Planets

10/12/2017 3:41 PM

Sun-like star Kronos shows signs of having ingested 15 Earth masses worth of rocky planets, prompting Princeton astronomers to nickname it for the Titan who ate his young. This artist's rendering of the diverse rocky planets in our galaxy hints at what Kronos's planets might have looked like before the star enveloped them. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC-Caltech)

"In mythology, the Titan Kronos devoured his children, including Poseidon (better known as the planet Neptune), Hades (Pluto) and three daughters.

So when a group of Princeton astronomers discovered twin stars, one of which showed signs of having ingested a dozen or more rocky planets, they named them after Kronos and his lesser-known brother Krios. Their official designations are HD 240430 and HD 240429, and they are both about 350 light years from Earth."

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171012122832.htm

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#1

Re: The Star that ate its planets

10/12/2017 3:48 PM

What are the signs.....? Star bloat?

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: The Star that ate its planets

10/12/2017 4:20 PM

The star and its binary partner have radically different spectra. The anomaly in the spectra of one star is an excess of elements that vaporize above 1200K, equivalent to the amount of "minerals" contained in 15 earth masses.

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#3

Re: The Star that ate its planets

10/12/2017 4:38 PM

ANALOGY -- Like analyzing flatulence: if it smells like frijoles, then somebody ate beans.

Similar technique applies to suns and their diet(s).

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#4

Re: The Star that ate its planets

10/12/2017 6:44 PM

Our own Sun didn't eschew metals.

The iron (~0.1% solar mass) alone in our Sun has the mass of more than 300 Earths.

In astronomical terms, the sun is ~1% metals. That is more than 5 times the combined mass of the planet's in our solar system.

Now who looks gluttonous?

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#6
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Re: The Star that ate its planets

10/12/2017 10:44 PM

I think the issue is not the amount of metals in the star, it's the excess in percentage of metals over its binary partner. They expect the binary pair to have similar spectra, i.e., the same percentage of metals to volatile elements.

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#7
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Re: The Star that ate its planets

10/13/2017 2:16 AM

Seems like a big difference in metalicity of a binary pair would suggest the stars being brought together from regions of different conditions as a more likely scenario than evolving in pretty much the same region but one ends up swallowing a bunch of planets while the other totally abstains.

....but perhaps that is just a flawed conjecture on my part.

Also, at the temperatures in stars, all elements have gone a step beyond volitizing. Everything AFAIK has become a plasma.

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#5

Re: The Star that ate its planets

10/12/2017 6:45 PM

Kronos, that's where the Klingons live. Doesn't surprise me they eat their young.

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#8
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Re: The Star that ate its planets

10/13/2017 11:40 PM

That may have started with Kahless, in the 9th century.

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#9
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Re: The Star that ate its planets

10/16/2017 11:33 AM

That's exactly where my mind went. Seems the Star Trek writers thought it a fitting name for the Klingon home-world.

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#10
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Re: The Star that ate its planets

10/18/2017 11:11 AM

Well, It was certainly better than the obvious choice:

Earthlings - Earth

Vulcans - Vulcan

Romulans - Romulus

Orions - Orion

Organians - Organia

Klingons - Kling(?)

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