Astronomers at the University of Indiana found that a mysterious non-periodic dimming of the star RZ Piscium can be explained by the presence of a rotating cloud of gas and dust.
According to the hypothesis the researchers, they could appear due to the fact that the star destroys the exoplanet orbiting around it. The article was published in the journal Astronomical Journal.
RZ Piscium is located 550 light years from Earth in the direction of the constellation of Pisces. Observations showed that the brightness of the stars from time to time drops 10 times that lasts up to two days. Thus RZ Piscium begins to radiate more energy in the infrared spectrum, indicating the presence of dust clouds. It was assumed that she is a young star surrounded by a dense asteroid belt, which often faced and crushed.
According to an alternative hypothesis, RZ Piscium older than the Sun and begins to turn into a red giant. Increasing in size, the star destroys orbiting her planet, which explains the existence of dust clouds.
Scientists observed the star with the space telescope XMM-Newton, 3-meter Shane telescope reflex in Litskai Observatory 10-meter telescope Keck. It turned out that RZ Piscium is a source of x-ray radiation, which is typical for young stars. Scientists have determined the age of the stars according to the amount of lithium on its surface, which was 30-50 million years.
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Clouds of dust and substances from the newly formed stars fade after a few million years after birth. Thus, RZ Piscium, most likely, destroy the exoplanet, for example, blowing the substance with close to gas giants.
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