The stars are millions of light-years away, yet they continue to shine and create a visual spectacle for night sky lovers. Because some of them glow brightly, some believe they burn at a high temperature and who knows, Perhaps it could explode at some point in the future and turn into another, more powerful cosmic body, such as a planet.
But that is not true. For most astronomers and scientists in this field, a star cannot turn into a planet, such as Earth, Mars, Jupiter, or others. The fact is that the process of giving birth to such a huge celestial body is more complicated than it might seem.
Researchers point out this There is perhaps only one type of star that can “transform” into a planet: they are brown dwarfs – metamorphosis is not the right word, in fact, they may share some properties of planets. But some scientists don’t even consider it a real star; Others don’t think it will become a planet.
To better explain whether a star could turn into a planet, TecMundo gathered information from astronomers and experts in the field. paying off!
Can a star become a planet?
According to physics professor Dr. Christopher S. Byrd, from West Texas A&M University in the United States: Perhaps it is possible for a star to “become” a planet.
However, only if it is a brown dwarf star, a celestial body that some astronomers do not consider a star; The most common argument is that they are not massive enough to initiate the hydrogen nuclear fusion process that occurs in a normal star. included, Other scientists point out that brown dwarfs will never become planets because they are located at the center of our solar system.
Ordinary stars can even help provide the heavy elements needed to form planets, but they do not turn into planets.source: Getty Images
The fact is that for many astronomers, a brown dwarf is an exotic astronomical object, because it is much larger than some planets, but smaller than most common stars; For example, On average, it is 13 times larger than Jupiter. Furthermore, it would not be able to undergo the same nuclear fusion process as ordinary stars, because its mass would not be enough to fuse ordinary hydrogen.
“Some scientists do not consider brown dwarfs to be true stars because they do not have enough mass to initiate nuclear fusion of ordinary hydrogen. Meanwhile, other scientists also do not consider brown dwarfs to be true planets because they are usually at the center of the solar system, just like a star.”
Because they are so massive, common stars can sustain nuclear fusion and convert their internal “fuel,” hydrogen, into heavier elements, such as helium, carbon, and iron. At the end of life, that itThese stars explode and various cosmic materials spread in the region, so the gases released during the explosion can help form other stars.
Are brown dwarfs planets?
Brown dwarfs aren’t massive enough to fuse regular hydrogen, so they end up fusing deuterium (a heavier version of hydrogen). In addition to, Just like planets, brown stars cool as they continue to age. That’s why some scientists, like Dr. Bird, think they may share some characteristics with planetsbut others disagree.
Cosmic stars and brown dwarfs form from gas left over from stellar explosions, while planets form from a mixture of heavier elements. Either way, planet formation is a complex process that involves more than just the elements left over from an exploded star.
The illustration represents a brown dwarf; Unlike stars, planets do not emit light, but rather reflect light from the stars they orbit, just as the Earth does with the sun.source: NASA/JPL-Caltech
What can happen, as has happened many other times, is this Heavy elements released during a starburst could help form a planet. However, researchers believe that an ordinary star would never be able to transform into a planet in a direct way.
According to doctoral student in astronomy Kofi Rose, at the University of Sydney, Australia, it is possible that some brown dwarfs will be reclassified as planets in the future. She claims that scientists will be able to go through a process like what happened with Pluto, when it was demoted to a dwarf planet; This means that researchers can begin to understand that brown dwarfs are something else, like planets.
“Scientists believe that planets, including those in our solar system, may start out as grains of dust smaller than the width of a human hair. They emerge from a massive donut-shaped disk of gas and dust that surrounds young stars. Gravity and other forces cause the material to collide inside the disk. “If the collision is gentle enough, the material merges, growing like rolling snowballs,” NASA explains in a planetary publication.
Did you like the content? Stay up to date with more astronomy curiosities here at TecMundo. If you wish, find out when the first stars appeared in the universe.
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