Sun's 'Solar Twin' Found, Eats Planets For BreakfastBy Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
A planet-eating star has been found 300 light years away. The "solar twin" of our own Sun may have destroyed planets in its orbit by eating them.
The Christian Science Monitor reported that this discovery could possibly be a scary preview of what will happen in the future of our own solar system. This has given scientists new information on the evolution and life cycle of stars and its systems.
The star is named HIP68468. It has been studied as a part of a multi-year project focused on finding planets that orbit "solar twins" of our Sun.
The findings were published on the journal, Astronomy & Astrophysics. It was also revealed that evidence of a super Neptune and a super Earth has been found. They are said to be orbiting the newly-discovered star.
What's interesting, though, is that HIP68468 has more lithium than expected. Stars are very hot that any lithium in it would be consumed over time.
Moreover, a star that's 6 billion years old should not have that much lithium left in its atmosphere. Scientists hypothesize that HIP68468 may have eaten some of its own planets to replace its supply.
However, it was noted that there is no need for humans to worry just yet since our Sun is only 4.5 billion years old. This means that we still have about 1.5 billion years to prepare for this phenomenon.
According to RT, Jacob Bean, assistant professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Chicago and co-author of the study, explained that this does not mean that the Sun will eat Earth any time soon. He did acknowledge, though, that their discovery does point towards the violent histories common among planetary systems.
HIP68468 was discovered in 1995. There are projections that predict how Mercury will one day fall into the Sun. Furthermore, as the Sun grows larger towards the end of its life cycle, it may consume planets near it as well.