Whether we like to accept it or not, there are numerous events in the Universe that are far more violent and destructive than any asteroid that ever hit the Earth. One such event is the collision between two planets, and one particular case even caused unexpected results: the atmosphere of one of the planets being flicked away.
ScienceAlert.com brings the news of the peculiar planet collision, and the event took place in a planetary system located 95 light-years away from Earth. What happened is that the disk of material surrounding the star rotated until two of the planets’ trajectories intersected with one another.
The HD 172555 star enters the cosmic scene
The HD 172555 star is the one that hosted the two planets that collided. The impact was so powerful that it made one of the exoplanets lose a significant part of its atmosphere.
Tajana Schneiderman of MIT, who is an astronomer, declared as quoted by ScienceAlert.com:
This is the first time we’ve detected this phenomenon, of a stripped protoplanetary atmosphere in a giant impact,
Everyone is interested in observing a giant impact because we expect them to be common, but we don’t have evidence in a lot of systems for it. Now we have additional insight into these dynamics.
However, it’s an interesting fact that collisions between planets don’t always lead to bad outcomes. For instance, astronomers believe that the collision between Earth and another planet millions of years ago led to the formation of our Moon. And it’s well-known that our natural satellite is crucially important for our planet, not just because it grants us beautiful sights during an eclipse. For instance, the Moon regulates the wobble of our planet on the axis, which makes it possible for us to have a relatively stable climate.