Scientists observe red giant star swallowing planet

Scientists were able to observe, for the first time, a star swallowing a Jupiter-like planet and then expelling energy into space. This could be a glimpse of Earth’s destiny.

K. Miller/R. Hurt Caltech/IPAC/Handout via REUTERS

The star in question would be at the beginning of what is called a red giant, that is, the final phase of its useful life as it has exhausted the existing hydrogen in its core and its dimensions begin to expand. As the star grew, its surface reached the orbit of the planet, which was eventually swallowed. The star was part of our galaxy, the Milky Way, and was located about 12,000 light years from Earth. Similar in size and composition to the Sun, this star is already 10 billion years old, twice as old as the Sun.

When a star starts the red giant phase it can increase up to a hundred times its original diameter, absorbing any planet in its orbit, until now it had never been possible to see a star swallowing a planet.

The study related to this discovery has now been published in the journal Nature. Kishalay De, lead author of the study considers that in about five billion years, when the Sun will pass through its red giant phase, it is very likely that Mercury, Venus and Earth, the three planets closest to the Sun , have the same fate.

Still, it is worth mentioning that this planet, a gas giant, was closer to the star than any other in our solar system, as it completed its orbit in less than a day, while Mercury needs about 88 days. to complete a trip around the Sun.

Morgan MacLeod, astrophysicist and another of the authors of the study, says that “the planet began to slide through the atmosphere of the star like a satellite falling into the Earth’s atmosphere. The deeper the planet fell, the denser the environment and the faster it was dragged to the center”.

Another of the interesting revelations was that the “so sudden” way in which the star swallowed the planet allowed scientists to see “its energetic belch”. This belch is some material that was expelled into space as “the intense heat eventually destroys the planet and its material is mixed with the entire star”.

It was not possible to identify more planets orbiting this star, but researchers still do not rule out the possibility that they exist.

Scientists spotted the star, which quickly became a hundred times brighter, at the Zwicky Transient Facility at Caltech’s Palomar Observatory in California.

find it out as
Editions of the Day

We publish for themselves, at two different times of the day, the best of national and international news. The articles of Editions of the Day are ordered chronologically here so you don’t miss anything best that SÁBADO prepares for you. You can also browse previous editions, for the day or for the week.

Related articles

Source: SÁBADO by

*The article has been translated based on the content of SÁBADO by If there is any problem regarding the content, copyright, please leave a report below the article. We will try to process as quickly as possible to protect the rights of the author. Thank you very much!

*We just want readers to access information more quickly and easily with other multilingual content, instead of information only available in a certain language.

*We always respect the copyright of the content of the author and always include the original link of the source article.If the author disagrees, just leave the report below the article, the article will be edited or deleted at the request of the author. Thanks very much! Best regards!