SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Planets Collide, Crater, More

SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Planets Collide, Crater, More
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August 10, 2009--Planet SMASH! A celestial body about the size of our moon collides with a planet roughly the size of Mercury in a new artist's conception. Scientists think a scene like this played out just a few thousand years ago around a young star called HD 172555.

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope recently detected the signatures of vaporized and melted rock along with rubble around the star, about a hundred light-years from Earth. Debris from a similar giant impact between Earth and a Mars-size body is thought to have created our moon about 30 to 100 million years after the sun formed.
—Image courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech
 
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