According to a report by “MailOnline” on the 3rd, this astronomical phenomenon was discovered in May 2020 by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and Caltech. The planet-eating star is only 12,000 light-years away, near the constellation Aquila, and the discovery also fills in a “missing link” for astronomers in understanding the fate of Earth and many other planets.
Astronomers can be so sure because the star increased in brightness by more than 100 times in just one week. And this white-hot flash was followed by a cooler, longer-lasting signal unlike any stellar outburst the researchers had ever seen, leading them to exciting conclusions.
The star is about 0.8 to 1.5 times the mass of the Sun, and the engulfed planet is about 1 to 10 times the mass of Jupiter. After the sun-like star continued to expand, it eventually became so huge that the planets orbiting it at close range could not escape the fate of being “swallowed”. It was finally pulled into the atmosphere of the dying star with no resistance , which is then consumed in its core.
“We’re seeing the final stages of engulfment,” said lead researcher Kishalay De of MIT’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. When we were on Earth, other civilizations looked at us from 10,000 light-years away, and they would see the sun suddenly brighten as it ejected some material, and then formed dust around it, and then returned to normal.”
Caltech scholar-Mansi Kasliwal (Mansi Kasliwal), who participated in the research, said that considering the life span of a star is as long as billions of years, the process of swallowing itself is quite short, basically happening suddenly.
Another researcher, Ryan Lau, believes that the findings illustrate the “transience” of our existence, and that Earth’s final fate will likely last only a few billion years after the solar system’s lifetime. The month’s “last flash” ends.
Fortunately, such a scenario will not occur until about 5 billion years from now.