Astronomers identify signature of Earth-eating stars

Students of Vanderbilt University are developing a model to find stars that swallow planets explained how planets are formed and help find other Earth-like planets outside of our solar system.

“Trey has shown that we can actually model the chemical signature of a star in detail, element by element, and determine how that signature is changed by the ingestion of Earth-like planets,” said Vanderbilt Professor of Astronomy Keivan Stassun, who supervised the study. “After obtaining a high-resolution spectrum for a given star, we can actually detect that signature in detail, element by element.”

Student of Astronomy, Trey Mack, developed the model that shows what happens to a star when it swallows Earth-like planets during its development. Mack then applied this model to two twin stars to find out if they are so-called “Earth-eaters”.

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