Astronomy.com has provided an article from Astronomy Magazine that is explaining a possible asteroid smashup witnessed by the NASA Spitzer telescope. There was an eruption of dust around a young star and it says that this type of collision can maybe lead to the formation of new planets. They go on to explain that this is not the first time that this telescope has caught smashups, but it is the first time that they have collected data both before and after the events. I personally think this is interesting because how could this collision and “dusty aftermath” possibly be the birth of new planets? Is this what had happened 4.5 billion+ years ago when Earth became? This article states that the rocky planets begin their lives are dusty material circling young stars. The asteroids form from clumps of the dusty material and then these asteroids ram into each other. Some asteroids grow over time and then they eventually become protoplanets. The article then explains that after 100 million years, the objects become full grown terrestrial planets. This, to me, is awesome because we went from thinking our earth was completely flat, to now knowing how earth had formed and being able to detect of formations of planets in outer space.
Spitzer the telescope has made another discovery on a 35 million old star which is located 1200 light years away in constellation Vela. As Spitzer watched the star, many made the observation of a a possible asteroid collision in the near future. Spitzer had to turn away for 5 months because the sun was in the way, then when it began watching again and came to find wreckage from a huge smashup, but also clouds grinding its gears to escape from the star as the signal fades. Now, dusty debris orbits the star and now rocky planets are forming right before NASA’s eyes! Amazing.
I think it is so cool to see what can happen in complete emptiness. It seems like there is nothing but open space and darkness and then after a few billion years, matter that grows and explodes and changes into amazing things like planets and stars just suddenly appear. It is amazing how far science has come and the kind of movement and events we can detect from even 1200 light years away!