Scientists believe that the impact between two distant worlds resulted in the creation of a massive iron planet with a mass by ten times higher than the Earth’s. Now, they think that these interplanetary collisions are behind the formation of any massive iron planets in the Universe.
Besides the fact that the respective interplanetary collision between those two distant planets that the astronomers observed was the first one ever spotted outside our Solar System, the study on that impact revealed some significant information about massive iron planets formations processes.
On the other hand, according to some previous studies, a similar collision between Earth and a Mars-sized planet led to the formation of the Moon and enriched the Earth with the elements required for life on Earth to evolve.
Interplanetary Collisions Are Behind The Formation of Massive Iron Planets
The astronomers of the Canary Islands observatories discovered what impacts between planets might result in, which, according to them, is the formation of a massive iron world. They made these findings by studying a four-planets system at 1,600 light years away from us. One of the planets, dubbed as Kepler-107c, presented some unique features.
According to the researchers, Kepler-107c has unusually high mass in relation to its size. The scientists believe that this exoplanet has been larger than it is today but, due to an interplanetary collision, it lost its mantle. All that remained after the impact is the planet’s core which makes 70 percent of its mass.
“The diversity of planets found outside our solar system is fascinating. We can use this diversity to understand better how planets form and evolve,” explained Professor Ken Rice, from the University of Edinburgh, who took part in the study. The researcher also noted that interplanetary collisions might be behind the formation of massive iron planets.
With over seven years of experience in online journalism, Vadim is passionate about everything related to science and the environment. For us, he will thus cover climate, environment, and science news, among others.