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Discover the first planet-eating star

Discover the first planet-eating star

Researchers in the US saw a burst of energy 12,000 light-years away, which they assumed was a collision between two stars. Then it turned out that a star had breathed a planet at least the size of Jupiter. A glimpse into Earth’s future.

After that, climate change, electric car driving, and wind turbine electrification won’t help: Our Sun, now relatively young by cosmic standards for nearly 4.6 billion years, will only get hotter and larger in the future, and our Earth will be much more efficient at all times.

According to astronomers’ predictions, in about 900 million years, the Earth’s average temperature will be 30 degrees (currently about 15 degrees Celsius). After a billion years, the temperature will be between 70 and 100 degrees, the seas will evaporate, and at about ten billion years of age the Sun, which has run out of fuel, will reappear due to altered fusion processes and already inflated, into the so-called red sun giants: its current diameter reaches about 80 times, and it would swallow Mercury and possibly Venus as well, which then bulged out in its orbit.

The earth melted into a ball of lava. That’s it after that. It does not matter to us that the Sun quickly loses mass and shrinks into an insignificant, albeit very hot, Earth-sized white dwarf, which over the next billions and billions of years will cool like a lump of coal and die completely.

Edwtie / CC BY-SA 4.0.1 Update

For the first time, scientists in the United States have apparently been able to capture a kind of visual prediction of the fate of our planet, our solar system. According to this (because of the long transit time of the light from there, one must say: it was) a large gaseous planet at least the size of Jupiter, captured by its central star, which at the same time swelled and rose in it.

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And so the process occurred 10,000 to 15,000 years ago near the constellation Aquila, a prominent diamond-shaped constellation around the brightest descending star seen from the northern hemisphere and described by the Babylonians.

The constellation of the Eagle, here in the center of the image above the southern horizon.Stellarium

The star in question is about 12,000 light-years away and about 10 billion years old, according to Morgan MacLeod of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This corresponds to the age of the red giant of our sun. It was originally the size of our sun.

Connie burp

Astronomers observed how, in a short astronomical time, the planet literally exploded in a fiery ball of gas, then part of it sank into its star and part was expelled into space in the form of a hot stream of gas. The latter was casually referred to as the star’s “cosmic burp” after his feast. The whole process, including decay, lasted no less than a year and a half, and the main energy boost (belching) lasted only about two weeks.

Cosmic fusion was discovered by Indian-born scientist Keshalai De of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He found 2020’s bright glow while looking at optical images from Caltech’s Palomar Observatory; This phenomenon has been named “ZTF SLRN-2020”. At first he believed in the merger of two stars; Further observations revealed that the accretion star had “sniffed out” a planet. It was probably much larger than Jupiter and with its last star sailed around the world at breakneck speed, in less than a day.

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“The planet buzzes through the star’s outer atmosphere like a near-Earth satellite,” says Morgan MacLeod, a colleague of Dee’s and a co-author on Dee’s paper. “The closer it got, the faster it fell into the star cluster. Then it fell inside spontaneously and caused the expulsion we saw.”

Another view of the process.California Institute of Technology

There has been evidence before that stars are gnawing at their planets, sucking matter out of them. Such processes in space have been depicted in astronomical works as well as in the general media, usually by means of artistic representations. But we now have the first observation of a star’s total consumption of a planet; The study was published in the journal “Nature”.

However, it is not yet known whether the star in question has other planets. Astronomer Dee says it will still be thousands of years before other planets close enough to the star are destroyed.

Is there anything left of the earth?

If one day our Earth expected the same fate and was swallowed up by the Sun, then the latter would not notice it at all. The Earth is so small compared to such a giant as Jupiter. However, it is not clear if this will actually happen: at the end of the stage as a red giant and immediately after that, the Sun is supposed to expand again, up to about 100 current solar diameters or about the Earth’s orbit. However, by that time, the Sun had given off a lot of mass and thus lost its gravity.

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A picture of the Earth and the Sun in about six billion years.Fsgregs / CC BY-SA 3.0.0 Update

As a result, the Earth’s orbit will shift, that is, increase, that is, farther from the Sun. That could at least save a roasting, shriveled patch of Earth orbiting a white dwarf in the void of space.

>>> To report in nature