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Using four of the worldâ€™s largest telescopes, scientists have obtained the most detailed information yet from the regions around two young stars tens of light years away, finding compact discs of rocky and dusty material at distances comparable to that from the Earth to the Sun.
Two terrestrial planets orbiting a mature sun-like star some 300 light-years from Earth recently suffered a violent collision, astronomers at UCLA, Tennessee State University and the California Institute of Technology will report in a December issue of the Astrophysical Journal, the premier journal of astronomy and astrophysics.
Enormous masses of dust floating around a binary star system suggest that two Earth-like planets demolished each other in a violent collision.
Astronomers report tremendous quantities of warm dusty debris surrounding a star with luminosity and mass similar to the sun's, but located 300 light-years from Earth. The extraordinary nature of the dust indicates a violent history of cosmic collisions between asteroids and comets, or perhaps even between planets. The discovery is published July 21 in Nature.
A relatively young star located about 300 light-years away is greatly improving our understanding of the formation of Earth-like planets.
- To swell, as grain or wood with water.