Matt O'Connnell Blog

Located at Morningside College

What happens when exoplanets crash into each other?

This is an artist's illustration of two exoplanets colliding in a binary star system.
via https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/23/world/exoplanet-collision-scn/index.html

How much time does Earth have? Our planet has been around for billions of years. We know that the planet will eventually burn out and be unable to support life. When that times come will it be like the destruction in the apocalyptic movie 2012? Or will it just go up in a puff of dust?

According to CNN more than 300 lightyears from Earth there is evidence that two exoplanets recently collided. Exoplanets are planets outside our solar system.

The star system where these two exoplanets are located is called BD +20 307. It was discovered by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope a decade ago.

Scientists think that Earth’s moon formed after Earth collided with a planetary body the size of Mars billions of years ago Alicia Weinberger lead investigator had this to say “This is a rare opportunity to study catastrophic collisions occurring late in a planetary systems history.”

1 Comment

  1. That first graf sets a leisurely pace, Matthew. Probably too slow, and it doesn’t match up well with the “real”lead in the second graf.

    The throwaway lead should probably focus on collisions in space. The story itself should focus on what we can learn from the distant collison.

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