Hellooo, dear reader! So, a bunch of astro-dudes (led by Dr. Antonella Vallenari and Dr. Lorenzo Spina (aka the VASPs) of the Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, INAF, Padova, Italy) focus their stellar brains on binary systems (i.e. stars systems where two stars dance around each other since they're bound by gravity) to try and find out why, although these balls of gas come from the very same cosmic stuff, in some cases they show chemical differences.
The astronomers know of two possible explanations for this.
The first is that the gas cloud that the sisters stars originate from has chemical inhomogeneities in it, and therefore the stars eat different things during their formation.
The other is that the stars couple's growing-up diet includes feeding on their own system's different planets.
Aaaand the VASPs publish a paper (Spina et al, 2021 (P)) on the journal Nature Astronomy where, data at hand, they prove that the second case is the right one.
The astro brains indeed come to such a conclusion after performig a "statistical study on 107 binary systems composed by Sun-like stars" (P) by which they show, precisely, "unambiguous evidence in favour of the planet engulfment scenario" (P).
Moreover the VASPs find that, unlike what happens in our system "which has preserved its planets on nearly circular orbits" (P), there's a 20 to 35% probability that stars similar to our Sun gulp down their own planets, meaning that "a significant fraction of planetary systems undergo very dynamical evolutionary paths that can critically modify their architectures", that is the orbits, up there, go wild (P).
Soooo, all of the above considered, this dumb blog, in the following cartoon, shows you, dear reader, what was our Solar System's reaction to the VASPs' study.
|Our Solar System family quarrel (by @sciencemug)|
The paper this mini-post is about (P)
- Spina, L., Sharma, P., Meléndez, J., Bedell, M., Casey, A.R., Carlos, M., Franciosini, E., and Vallenari, A. (2021). Chemical evidence for planetary ingestion in a quarter of Sun-like stars. Nat Astron 1–7