Giant comet ‘smacked Neptune 200 years ago’
Washington: A new research has revealed that Neptune was struck by a giant comet about two centuries ago.
The discovery suggests that comet collisions with gas giant planets may be more frequent than astronomers thought.
Gas giants like Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune have turbulent atmospheres with just tiny cores of rock, making it much harder to find evidence of past impacts.
The data show that the amount of carbon monoxide in Neptune`s upper atmosphere is higher than in the planet`s lower atmosphere.
Since gas would normally thin out as it reaches higher atmospheric layers, the extra gas had to come from some outside source, the scientists say.
Mathematical models for Neptune have suggested that a major comet hits the gas giant planet every 8,000 years, said study co-author Paul Hartogh of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research.
Adding the Neptune find to the relatively recent Saturn and Jupiter smash-ups implies that comet collisions might be more frequent than astronomers had thought.
"Maybe there are more impacts than we think," National Geographic News quoted him as saying.
The find is published in the July 16 issue of the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Over 60 cadets killed in Pakistan police academy attack
- DNA: Terrorists' new strategy of snatching weapons from Indian security personnel
- Watch: PM Narendra Modi's ''progressive'' remark on triple talaq
- Panel discussion over delayed development in Ayodhya
- Panel discussion over vote bank politics on Hinduism
- Explosion in Delhi's Naya Bazar, one killed; anti-terror wing, Special cell at spot
- WATCH: Akhilesh Yadav's emotional speech revealing the real reason behind Samajwadi Party crisis; he was about to cry
- India vs New Zealand: Awestruck Kiwis witness MS Dhoni driving his Hummer in Ranchi, and photo goes viral
- Lashkar-e-Toiba claims responsibility for Uri attack in posters pasted in Pakistan town
- Naya Bazar explosion: Home Ministry seeks report from Delhi Police; one dead, 5 injured