Kronos Is The Latest Nickname For 2 Planet Eating Stars


Scientists have nicknamed Kronos a very far apart would-be binary star system.

Scientists have been studying two very strange stars, HD 240429 and HD 240430, to try and determine if they are just eerily familiar or actually part of a binary pair. But in doing so, researchers believe to have found out about another of their strange properties, one that has led to their being called Kronos.

Kronos or How Greek Mythology is Tied in With Space

In ancient Greek mythology, Kronos was one of an essential Titan, and the one to start eating his children. He did so after a prophecy foretold that one of them would be his end. Eventually, the prophecy was fulfilled, through the birth of the famous Zeus.

Now, astronomers have collectively nicknamed HD 240429 and HD 240430 “Kronos” because of their having a similar behavior.

Namely, the two stars are believed to be a binary pair. However, their being separated by light-years of space has been raising questions about this, as even the so-called “wide binary” systems are closer than this.

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Still, the two space bodies are very similar. For example, they are both four billion years old. Also, both of them are G-type, yellowish stars, just like the Sun. Although HD 240429 and HD 240430 orbit each other, they also have rather different chemical structures.

HD 240430 was revealed to host larger quantities of certain specific elements such as calcium, iron, nickel, and aluminum.

However, in terms of oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen levels, the two stars are quite alike. According to the team, there is only one explanation for this discrepancy.

They believe that HD 240429 must have consumed some 15 Earth-like planets. Research pointed out that this Kronos star was also picky with what it consumed. Absorbing other types of planets would have changed its chemical composition and fingerprint.

The research team points out that it’s difficult to establish an exact number of swallowed planets, but that it wouldn’t be hard to believe that they might have come from just one solar system.

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Detailed study results are presented in a paper currently available in the pre-print arxiv.

Image Source: Wikimedia

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