As a star runs out of gasoline, it’ll billow out to one million occasions its unique dimension, engulfing any matter, together with planets, in its wake. Till now, scientists have noticed hints of stars simply earlier than and shortly after the act of consuming total planets, however they’ve by no means caught one within the act ( Nature).
The planetary demise seems to have taken place in our personal galaxy, some 12,000 light-years away, close to the eagle-like constellation, Aquila. There, astronomers noticed an outburst from a star that turned greater than 100 occasions brighter over simply 10 days, earlier than rapidly fading away. Curiously, this white-hot flash was adopted by a colder, longer-lasting sign. This mixture, the scientists deduced, might solely have been produced by one occasion: a star engulfing a close-by planet, as per a launch.
The scientists estimate that it was seemingly a scorching, Jupiter-sized world that spiralled shut, then was pulled into the dying star’s environment, and, lastly, into its core.
The same destiny will befall earth, although not for an additional 5 billion years, when the solar is predicted to burn out, and deplete the photo voltaic system’s internal planets.