Find first evidence of a planet destroyed by its dying star
A team of astronomers found the first evidence of the destruction of a planet by the dying star after expanding into a red giant, “a fate similar to that will the planets of our solar system when the sun expands well beyond the orbit of Earth in about 5 billion years, “said one of the team members, astronomer Alex Wolszczan , who was also the discoverer of the first planet found outside the solar system .
Astronomers observed a red giant star called BD +48 740-much older than the Sun and with a radius 11 times larger, when they noticed that there were a lot of lithium around. A star can very easily destroy lithium and theorists have only managed to find very specific circumstances, besides the Big Bang, under which a star make lithium.
“In the case of BD +48 740 is likely that lithium production is triggered by the mass the size of a planet that crashed into the star and heated while being absorbed by it,” says Monika Adamow, another astronomer team, who says that this evidence adds to that detected a planet ‘survivor’ around BD +48 740 with a highly unusual elliptical orbit they believe was caused by the loss of a fellow rotating around the star.
Scientists are clear that they will never witness the exact moment at which a planet is destroyed by its star because of how quickly the process, but say that one can deduce this fact with stellar chemistry.
And no, I did not detect any escaping the destruction rocket toward Earth with a baby on board.
Link: First Evidence of Planet’s Destruction Discovered by Its Star (ScienceDaily)Tags: Astronomy, astrophysics, exoplanets, Science, Space