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Planetary collision!

Started by maurice clark, 08/10/2009 05:41PM
Posted 08/10/2009 05:41PM Opening Post
Hi all,

Thought that heading would get your attention!! grin Actually it is somewhat accurate! Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered evidence of a collision between a Moon sized object and a Mercury-sized object around the star HD 172555, which is some 100ly away and a very young system, believed to be only around 12 million years old.

The full story is here along with a great animation of the collision!



* Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a day.
* Teach a man to use the internet and he won't bother you for weeks.
Posted 08/11/2009 03:52AM #1
The 25 Mb animation takes a while to load, but it is worth the wait! Thanks, Maurice!
Posted 08/22/2009 12:13PM #2
The animation is dramatic, but IMO not realistic. Even at the great speed mentioned, the event would take place over 20-30 minutes. Tidal forces would likely fracture the smaller body as it neared the point of collision, and a direct hit as shown is unlikely.

But artistic license is OK, with its new budget realities and no place to go, NASA needs to keep those animators and space art illustrators busy doing something... 8)

Jim McSheehy