In a world’s first, scientists have observed a star completely swallowing up a planet, a phenomenon that will also happen to our own sun one day, killing us all.
Astronomers have, for the first time, witnessed a star, not unlike our sun, completely guzzling up a gas giant about the size of Jupiter, according to the AP. This will happen to the Earth, too, when our own sun eventually becomes a red giant and wipes out our planet. The good news, though, is that this shouldn’t happen for another 5 billion years, co-author Morgan MacLeod said.
Anyone alive today won’t have to suffer this fate, thankfully, and it’s an open question whether or not humanity will be around in 5 billion years anyway. But whatever is left of our Earth in 5 billion years will be gobbled up and destroyed in spectacular fashion.
This event took place between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago in the Aquila constellation. The hungry star was about 10 billion years old. Kishalay De at Massachusetts Institute of Technology made the discovery in 2020, but didn’t fully understand what was happening until more recently after running further tests and conducting additional research.
But how did it play out and what did it look like, this end-of-days event in outer space? From the AP report: “As the planet went down the stellar hatch, there was a swift hot outburst of light, followed by a long-lasting stream of dust shining brightly in cold infrared energy, the researchers said.”
In other fun-and-also-terrifying space news, NASA successfully diverted asteroids in space, thereby suggesting that movies like Armageddon and Deep Impact are not total BS.
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