comScore Death Stars in Orion Kill The Chance of Forming Planets | The Mary Sue
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Baby Proto-Planets in Orion are Doomed Because of Massive O Type “Death Stars”

These Death Stars aren't made for living.

orion nebula

In the Orion Nebula there are hundreds of proplyds, which are sort of like baby stars. Give it time and these young protostars will eventually go on to form planets. Unfortunately, some of these adolescent stars don’t ever get the chance to blossom because they’re in close proximity with “death stars” — and no, not the Death Star that Skywalker blew up.

Keep in mind that these kinds of stars are substantially bigger in comparison to our Sun. A team in a team of astronomers in Canada and the United States recently studied the fatal relationship between these proplyds and O-type stars by using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). According to the data collected from ALMA, young stars within 0.1 light-years are fated to have their dust and gas, which they need to form planets, destroyed by the massive radiation emitted by the deadly O-type star. This doesn’t give enough time for planets to form.

“O-type stars, which are really monsters compared to our Sun, emit tremendous amounts of ultraviolet radiation and this can play havoc during the development of young planetary systems.” said Rita Mann, astronomer with the National Research Council of Canada in Victoria. She adds: “Using ALMA, we looked at dozens of embryonic stars with planet-forming potential and, for the first time, found clear indications where protoplanetary disks simply vanished under the intense glow of a neighboring massive star.”

Using the information from ALMA and SMA (Submillimeter Array) in Hawaii, astronomers also found that any young protostars lurking near any massive star emitting enormous amounts of UV are ultimately doomed.   Essentially, there are no chances for planets to form under these circumstances. So let’s rejoice there were no death stars in the vicinity when our Sun was just a baby.

(via Phys.org, image via nicholall)

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