Burning lithium inside a star (artist's impression)

Artist’s impression of a baby star still surrounded by a protoplanetary disc in which planets are forming. Using ESO’s very successful HARPS spectrograph, a team of astronomers has found that Sun-like stars which host planets have destroyed their lithium much more efficiently than planet-free stars. This finding does not only shed light on the low levels of this chemical element in the Sun, solving a long-standing mystery, but also provides astronomers with a very efficient way to pick out the stars most likely to host planets. It is not clear what causes the lithium to be destroyed. The general idea is that the planets or the presence of the protoplanetary disc disturb the interior of the star, bringing the lithium deeper down into the star than usual, into regions where the temperature is so hot that it is destroyed.

Припис:

ESO/L. Calçada

Про зображення

ID:eso0942a
Тип:Художнє
Дата релізу [date]:11 листопада 2009 р.
Пов'язані релізи:eso0942
Пов'язані оголошення:ann1046
Розмір:3000 x 2000 px

Про об’єкт

Назва:Protoplanetary disc
Тип:Unspecified : Star : Circumstellar Material : Disk : Protoplanetary
Категорія:Illustrations

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