Oct 12

Red Giant Devours Planet

Source: NASA Science


An international team of astronomers has caught a star in the act of devouring one of its planets. BD+48 740, a red giant they observed using the 9.2-meter Hobby-Eberly Telescope at the McDonald Observatory in Texas, appears to have the fumes of a scorched planet in its atmosphere.  This is consistent with a rocky world, recently destroyed.

Could the same thing happen to Earth?

Yes indeed, says Alex Wolszczan, a member of the research team from Penn State University: "A similar fate may await the inner planets in our solar system when the sun becomes a red giant some five billion years from now."

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