Latest Benjamin Zuckerman Stories
Using a radio telescope in the mountainous area of southern Spain back in 1995, astronomer Benjamin Zuckerman and two colleagues found an unusually high amount of carbon monoxide gas orbiting a star in the constellation Cetus, 49 CETI.
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.
The chemical fingerprint of a burned-out star indicates that Earth-like planets may not be rare in the universe and could give clues to what our solar system will look like when our sun dies and becomes a white dwarf star some five billion years from now.
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.