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Exoplanetology

Mergerburst

21 Apr 2011, 20:23 UTC
Mergerburst
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I love words that come from Astrophysics. A new one I learned today is "mergerburst". For that cinematic feel, make sure you pronounce it with an evil tone and a malevolent face, because a mergerburst is a highly-destructive event on a planetary scale.

This post is specifically about a BD-Planet mergerburst, the destruction of a planet by a brown dwarf (BD). When a massive planet approaches a brown dwarf, the poor planet will be tidally destroyed or shredded as it "merges" with a much-denser brown dwarf. The mayhem will form a luminous accretion disk around the brown dwarf that will stay for around a few days, which should be observable, distinct, and identifiable from other mergerbursts such as Star−Planet Mergerbursts, and Planet−Planet Mergerbursts.

Factoid: The existence of Brown dwarfs (BD) were predicted in 1963, and was termed as "black dwarfs" back then.

Links:
MERGERBURST TRANSIENTS OF BROWN DWARFS WITH EXOPLANETS (PDF)

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