Most Powerful Scenes of Cosmic Destruction

Most Powerful Scenes of Cosmic Destruction

Most Powerful Scenes of Cosmic Destruction
Image Credits: Future Timeline

For the longest time, we pictured the cosmos as a place of order and serenity. It was thought that a few simple laws of nature keep everything in balance. However, in the past 40 years or so, we have learned that space can be extremely violent. Keep reading to know more about some of the most powerful events of cosmic destruction.

Mind-blowing Incidents of Cosmic Destruction

Cosmic destruction comes in many different forms and varies greatly in scale. It ranges from collisions between planets to collisions between entire galaxies. Some of the greatest scenes of cosmic destruction are discussed below.

A Cosmic Traffic Accident

A Cosmic Traffic Accident - Cosmic Destruction

Kepler-107c is a strange planet. It’s basically an iron ball with a radius that’s 1.5 times that of the Earth. Its sibling, Kepler-107b, is far more similar to Earth. Most of its iron is concentrated in its core and accounts for only 30% of its mass. On the other hand, iron makes about 70% of Kepler-107c’s mass.

Following this observation, scientists concluded that what remains of Kepler-107c is actually just its core. They posit that it once had a silicate mantle that was stripped away from it in a collision. According to their calculations, the object that crashed into Kepler-107c must have had a relative velocity of about 40 miles/second.

Stars Vaporizing Their Planets

Stars Vaporizing Their Planets - Cosmic Destruction

In some cases, stars swell up into red giants as they die. They slough off their external layers, and only the core is left behind. Orbiting planets often get engulfed and are destroyed during this process. But all planets are not that lucky.

Some planets survive their star’s expansion, only to be rewarded with a blow torch to the face. The exposed core of the star is so hot that it slowly vaporizes them. This is what happened to one or more planets orbiting WD 1145+017.

By the time we detected this system, the planets had been reduced to asteroids and dust. About 8000 tons of this debris is being boiled off every second. The largest fragment is estimated to have a mass equal to that of Ceres, the largest object in our asteroid belt. At this rate, it won’t be vaporized completely until a few million years have passed.

A Black Hole that Devours the Equivalent of a Star

A Black Hole that Devours the Equivalent of a Star - Cosmic Destruction

Galaxies are often collections of stars orbiting a supermassive black hole. Our own Milky Way has a black hole at its center, called Sagittarius A*. But it pales in comparison to J2157, which weighs in at 14 billion solar masses.

Sagittarius A* would have to consume 60% of the Milky Way to acquire the mass of J2157. Having said that, J2157 is still growing, and it’s the fastest-growing black hole yet discovered. Its immense gravitational pull allows it to suck in the equivalent of an entire star every single day.

Black Holes That Bite More Than They Can Chew

Black Holes That Bite More Than They Can Chew

Black holes are perhaps the best-known sites of cosmic destruction, but they don’t appear to be violent. The matter seems to swirl about them serenely as it slowly spirals towards the center. However, all is not as calm as it appears.

The matter dragged into a black hole’s maw is heated to millions of degrees. In the process, it gets broken apart into individual atoms and ions. If enough of it accumulates at once, this superhot atomic gas can be spewed out of the black hole.

The gas goes back into the swirl of the matter around the black hole. In essence, black holes operate like fountains, circulating matter like water in a pool. The only difference is that fountains do not usually shred the water at the atomic level.

Millions Of Stars Birthed Violently Due To Galactic Collision

Millions Of Stars Birthed Violently Due To Galactic Collision

One would think that two galaxies colliding with one another would be a cataclysmically destructive event. Although you are not wrong, these collisions are also responsible for the birth of whole groups of new stars. They are ejected from their parent galaxies leaving one or both of them largely diminished.

B14-65666 is a perfect example of this phenomenon. This giant blob of gas was created by the collision of two of the oldest galaxies in the known universe. The whole bi-galactic blob only has 10% of the mass of the Milky Way. This is because both the galaxies were born in such an early stage of the universe’s development.

However, it is still a hundred times more active in terms of star birth. Galactic pile-ups cause the compression of vast clouds of gas, triggering bursts of stellar birth by literally smashing stars into life.

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