Solar Systems Have A Mechanism To Keep Newborn Planets Safe: Study

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Solar systems have a “baby-proof” mechanism for their newborn planets in the inner region of the host star which stops them from getting drifted towards it.

Written By Kunal Gaurav | Mumbai | Updated On:
Solar systems

Solar systems have a “baby-proof” mechanism for their newborn planets in the inner region of the host star. The newborn planets are vulnerable to get drifted towards the star and collapse into it. Researchers published their recent findings in the Astronomy and Astrophysics journal for the “Planets and planetary systems” section. 

Formation of a planet

When a star is formed from a cloud of gas and dust, a rotating circumstellar disk of dense leftover gas and dust surrounds the newborn star. These leftover gas and dust then pull together solid material to form planets. Over a few million years, these planets turn into round objects with a solid core. Like toddlers, newborn planets are not stable and wobble around their star. At this point in time, the planets need a “baby-proof” system to avoid getting too close to their host star.

“The increasing number of newly detected exoplanets at short orbital periods raises questions about their formation and migration histories. Planet formation and migration depend heavily on the structure and dynamics of protoplanetary disks,” wrote the researchers. 

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Aim of the research

Mario Flock, Neal J. Turner, Gijs D. Mulders, Yasuhiro Hasegawa, Richard P. Nelson and Bertram Bitsch contributed to the research to find out what exactly a solar system does to prevent any mishap. The research was especially aimed at determining the positions where the exoplanets and super-Earths would be halted. The researchers also investigated the conditions for planet formation and migration near the dust sublimation front in protostellar disks around young Sun-like stars.

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Researchers conclude

The researchers concluded that, “The dust sublimation zone is crucial for forming close-in planets, especially when considering tightly packed super-Earth systems.” The planets, initially, form at the outer region of the disk and later migrate towards the star getting trapped beneath the inner rim of the disk formed by the dust sublimation front.

“The disk structure we determined allows inward-drifting pebbles to accumulate and form planets at the pressure maximum a short distance outside the dust sublimation front,” they concluded.

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