Scientists warn Earth will be eaten by sun
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Featured Image Credit: Timothy Hodgkinson / Alamy Stock Photo/Buradaki / Alamy Stock Photo
The discussion surrounding the end of the world has gone on for many a year, with so many debunked conspiracy theories somehow getting the light of day.
However, the reality is very different to those theories, as a recent event has provided a glimpse as to what would happen if the world was to end.
That is because scientists had a rare first look of a planet being eaten by a star.
Before this landmark moment, scientists had only seen stars just before or after they eat entire planets, but this new study has changed all that.
So, what is all the science behind this?
Well, when stars reach the end of their lives, they grow to about a million times their original size, which makes them very powerful.
In fact, when stars get to this point, they end up eating up any planets or other objects that might be around them.
This recently happened in our galaxy, which made it easier for scientists to track and gather data from.
Scientists believe it happened about 12,000 lightyears away, with astronomers watching as the star grew to about 100 times brighter than it usually was over ten days, until it eventually faded away.
Next, astronomers found a cold, longer-lasting signal that arrived at Earth, which was likely the last trace of a planet as it was engulfed by the mammoth star.
"We were seeing the end-stage of the swallowing," said lead author Kishalay De, of MIT's Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research.
As for size, the star is about 0.8 to 1.5 times the mass of our Sun, with researchers believing the planet was between one and ten times the mass of Jupiter.
Much of the material gobbled up by the star is spat out into the universe, which could go to forming new stars and planets one day.
While the fate is sealed for that poor planet, scientists are warning that the Sun and our Earth are expected to suffer the same fate.
Though, that will likely not be for another five billion years.
Dr De added: "We are seeing the future of the Earth. If some other civilization was observing us from 10,000 light-years away while the sun was engulfing the Earth, they would see the sun suddenly brighten as it ejects some material, then form dust around it, before settling back to what it was."