American astronomers have published a study with observations of a very rare phenomenon – the collapse of an extrasolar planet as it revolves around its star.
The massive exoplanet is about 800 light years from Earth and recalls the dimensions of Neptune, the scientists point out.
This exoplanet has big problems: it literally shatters into parts. This is a very rare phenomenon, so we plan to follow the development of K2-22b to understand why this happens, – he told the authors of the study.
Exoplanet discovered in 2015 and since then, scientists periodically monitor it. In a new study, astronomers have traced the movement of a planet around its star as it breaks.
It is interesting to note that a year on an extrasolar planet lasts only nine hours. K2-22b is not the only planet subject to rapid decay. In total, scientists know about 3.8 thousand exoplanets that have begun to disintegrate, but most of them are difficult to observe.
With K2-22b, scientists were lucky, because they were able to detect not only the comet-like tail of a substance that falls from the planet, but also traces of dust-like material in front of it.
Our research is still ongoing, but now there are first interesting results. This study is extremely important, since often it is not possible to observe such an exoplanet without particular difficulties, – the researchers concluded.