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Large impacts around a solar-analog star in the era of terrestrial planet formation

Meng, Huan Y. A. and Su, Kate Y. L. and Rieke, George H. and Stevenson, David J. and Plavchan, Peter and Rujopakarn, Wiphu and Lisse, Carey M. and Poshyachinda, Saran and Reichart, Daniel E. (2014) Large impacts around a solar-analog star in the era of terrestrial planet formation. Science, 345 (6200). pp. 1032-1035. ISSN 0036-8075.

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The final assembly of terrestrial planets occurs via massive collisions, which can launch copious clouds of dust that are warmed by the star and glow in the infrared. We report the real-time detection of a debris-producing impact in the terrestrial planet zone around a 35-million-year-old solar-analog star. We observed a substantial brightening of the debris disk at a wavelength of 3 to 5 micrometers, followed by a decay over a year, with quasi-periodic modulations of the disk flux. The behavior is consistent with the occurrence of a violent impact that produced vapor out of which a thick cloud of silicate spherules condensed that were then ground into dust by collisions. These results demonstrate how the time domain can become a new dimension for the study of terrestrial planet formation.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle Materials Paper
Su, Kate Y. L.0000-0002-3532-5580
Rieke, George H.0000-0003-2303-6519
Stevenson, David J.0000-0001-9432-7159
Plavchan, Peter0000-0002-8864-1667
Lisse, Carey M.0000-0002-9548-1526
Reichart, Daniel E.0000-0002-5060-3673
Additional Information:© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. 23 April 2014; accepted 15 July 2014. H.Y.A.M, K.Y.L.S., and G.H.R. thank R. Malhotra and A. Gáspár for valuable discussions. This work is based on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA. Support for this work was provided by NASA through an award issued by JPL/Caltech and by NASA grant NNX13AE74G. All data are publicly available through the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Issue or Number:6200
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140919-073936685
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Official Citation:Large impacts around a solar-analog star in the era of terrestrial planet formation Huan Y. A. Meng, Kate Y. L. Su, George H. Rieke, David J. Stevenson, Peter Plavchan, Wiphu Rujopakarn, Carey M. Lisse, Saran Poshyachinda, and Daniel E. Reichart Science 29 August 2014: 345 (6200), 1032-1035. [DOI:10.1126/science.1255153]
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:49844
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:19 Sep 2014 16:18
Last Modified:07 Apr 2020 17:05

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