Scientists catch real-life Death Star devouring a planet in 1st-of-its-kind discovery.

Astronomers may have for the first time witnessed a sun-like star devouring a planet, shedding light on the fate that will befall Earth in about four billion years when our dying sun swells to engulf our world, a new study finds.

By analyzing countless stars during various stages of their evolution, astronomers have discovered that as our sun and stars like it near the ends of their lives, they begin to exhaust their primary source of fuel, the hydrogen near their cores. This leads their cores to contract and their outer shells to expand and cool. During this "red giant" phase, these stars may billow out anywhere from 100 to 1,000 times their original diameter, swallowing closely orbiting planets.

This must happen to all planets that are orbiting at distances smaller than that of the Earth, but it was considered extremely challenging to provide experimental evidence for this.

For decades, scientists have detected evidence of stars just before and shortly after the act of consuming planets. However, researchers had never caught a star in the act until now.

Source: www.space.com


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