Planet-consuming ‘Death Star’ exposed in new study
A sun in a far off galaxy has been digesting its orbiting planets, according to new research. The contents of HIP68468’s ‘belly’ led scientists to believe the star had quite the appetite.
Taking a cue from the famous ‘Death Star’ in the ‘Star Wars’ film saga, HIP68468 is theorized to have destroyed planets that veered into its path due to an orbit much closer than Earth is to the our own sun. Unlike the ‘Death Star’ though, the planets were engulfed by it and became part of its composition.
HIP68468’s composition “points to a history of ingesting planets,” according to the research, published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.
“It doesn’t mean that the sun will ‘eat’ the Earth any time soon,” said the report’s co-author, Jacob Bean, assistant professor of astronomy and astrophysics at University of Chicago, explaining how the planet contains “four times more lithium than would be expected for a star that is 6-billion-years old.”
“Our discovery provides an indication that violent histories may be common for planetary systems, including our own,” Bean says.