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."