Tag Archives: solar system formation

Comet 67P/C-G unveils a scientific surprise

Data from Rosetta of Comet 67P/C-G strongly suggests that the origin of the comets of its class come from a wide range of locations within the early solar system, and that many of these comets might not have delivered the water to Earth as previously believed.

The data also suggests that the Earth’s water came more from asteroids, not comets, something that scientists had not expected.

Spitzer spots asteroid collision

A monitoring program of a young star by the Spitzer Space Telescope has paid off with evidence of a major collision between asteroids in the debris disk that surrounds the star.

Scientists had been regularly tracking the star, called NGC 2547-ID8, when it surged with a huge amount of fresh dust between August 2012 and January 2013. “We think two big asteroids crashed into each other, creating a huge cloud of grains the size of very fine sand, which are now smashing themselves into smithereens and slowly leaking away from the star,” said lead author and graduate student Huan Meng of the University of Arizona, Tucson.

While dusty aftermaths of suspected asteroid collisions have been observed by Spitzer before, this is the first time scientists have collected data before and after a planetary system smashup. The viewing offers a glimpse into the violent process of making rocky planets like ours.