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Comet demolition job?

19 April 2012

At www.space.com/15255-comet-massacre-fomalhaut-star.html  is a bit of speculation after the observation of a young star, Fomalhaut, with at least one planet in orbit around it, that is said to be ringed by a vast cloud of dust and comets – as many as 83 trillion comets, it is calculated. They are all colliding with each other and kick up a vast dust cloud – or so it is alleged. What is really going on? Hard to tell but what astronomers have found is lots of dust in a young star system, dust that is usually blasted away. The hypothesis created by the scientists, in this instance, is that the cosmic dust must have an origin outside star formation. Usually, it is thought, the dust is blown away – but not the dust in the Fomalhaut system. Therefore, it is conjectured, and written down in keyboard symbology, the vast cloud of dust must have been created by comets. Why? Is it because it is generally thought that in the farther reaches of our solar system there is a cloud of comets, the Oort Cloud – which nobody has actually observed. This idea is then transferred into deep space and it is assumed Fomalhaut also has lots of comets circling around somewhere. As comets create cosmic dust streams in our solar system the same thing is then transferred to Fomalhaut – and the vast dust cloud is so big that it must have taken not millions but trillions of comets barging and bashing into each other in order to create all that cosmic dust. On the other hand the dust could just about have another origin – so we can expect another explanation to surface in the not too distant future.

(if link does not work this has something to do with space.com and an error page will come up. Type in 15255 and the links will come up and press and go to appropriate page)

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