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Astronomers Watch Star Devouring Planet

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the om-nom-nom dept.

Space 97

jamstar7 writes "According to Universe Today, 'Astronomers have witnessed the first evidence of a planet's destruction by its aging star as it expands into a red giant. "A similar fate may await the inner planets in our solar system, when the Sun becomes a red giant and expands all the way out to Earth's orbit some five-billion years from now," said Alex Wolszczan, from Penn State, University, who led a team which found evidence of a missing planet having been devoured by its parent star (abstract, pre-print). Wolszczan also is the discoverer of the first planet ever found outside our solar system. The planet-eating culprit, a red-giant star named BD+48 740, is older than the Sun and now has a radius about eleven times bigger than our Sun. The evidence the astronomers found was a massive planet in a surprising and highly elliptical orbit around the star — indicating a missing planet — plus the star's wacky chemical composition.' Five billion years or so is a long way off, so it's likely none of us has to worry about it. But still, watching a star eating its own planets is not only cool in its own right, but also provides food for thought as to how to keep the human species going long after the Sun starts going off the main sequence into red giant-hood. And, of course, putting more funding into astronomers' and physicists' hands now can give us a closer estimate of when it'll happen. It's all in the math..."

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Hands Up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41073815)

If you'd rather watch another kind of star devouring something else....

Re:Hands Up (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41073913)

I would rather see your mom being DPed by Mandingo and Lexington Steele while your dad acts as fluffer.

Red giants, the scourge of not our time. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41073895)

But still, watching a star eating its own planets is not only cool in its own right, but also provides food for thought as to how to keep the human species going long after the Sun starts going off the main sequence into red giant-hood.

1. Solve the fossil fuel crisis. ...
47819121. Solve for the survival of the descendants of the human species after the sun goes red giant.
47819122. Profit!

I think there's a couple steps missing.

Re:Red giants, the scourge of not our time. (0)

cod3r_ (2031620) | about 2 years ago | (#41074137)

Impossible to survive it w/out space travel to another plant which is probably also impossible.. somewhere in the middle humans just going to have to accept there are some things we just can't do. Fossiel fuel crisis being the first of those things :)

Re:Red giants, the scourge of not our time. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41074369)

Space travel to another planet (or moon) within our solar system is absolutely possible, and if we can find a way to live sustainably for a billion years, I'm sure we can save enough energy to send a breeding population to Titan or so.

Re:Red giants, the scourge of not our time. (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 2 years ago | (#41076117)

Space travel to another planet (or moon) within our solar system is absolutely possible, and if we can find a way to live sustainably for a billion years, I'm sure we can save enough energy to send a breeding population to Titan or so.

And even if we did this, what will life on Titan be when the sun is a red giant and Jupiter has become the first planet instead of the 5th?

Re:Red giants, the scourge of not our time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41079313)

Well, at whatever point Saturn gets too hot, you can flipping move farther out. The point is, if we muster a way to get by after fossil and fissile reserves, we as a species won't have trouble outrunning the ridiculously slow change we're talking about here.

Re:Red giants, the scourge of not our time. (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 years ago | (#41080649)

and if we can find a way to live sustainably for a billion years

We have about 0.5 billion years before Earth looks like Venus, coincidentally about the same length of time since multicellular life first evolved. We evolved in conjunction with the a biosphere that probably is unique. The likelyhood of our very long term survival is remote, the chances of our distant ancestors still being the same species is even more remote.

What about space colonies, terra-forming, Dyson spheres, etc? - Despite the hype and cynicism that surrounds SETI, "Fermi's paradox" (AKA "Where are they?") is still a damned good question [wikipedia.org] . What empirical evidence we have seems to suggest that technological species that have mastered broadcasting on the EM spectrum are either, exceedingly rare, or a fleeting phenomena that lasts for less than an eye-blink on geological time scales.

Our survival for the next century or two depends on how we maintain this unique biosphere (natural spaceship/raft if you like). The pessimist in me says that the fatal flaw in human civilizations of any kind is that humans did not evolve massive chimp brains to live like termites. If we can't work out how to stop destroying the life support systems that exists on this rudderless ship, the human race won't be going anywhere long term.

Re:Red giants, the scourge of not our time. (1)

ozduo (2043408) | about 2 years ago | (#41074869)

"w/out space travel to another plant which is probably also impossible " Even an ant can move from plant to plant without space travel unless one of the plants is on another planet!

Re:Red giants, the scourge of not our time. (4, Interesting)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 2 years ago | (#41075091)

A sufficiently advanced and long-lived civilization comes to realize that its sun is a liability, not an asset.

Of course reaching the end of its life and going nova or red giant is bad. But even well before that, stars are known to throw nasty flares and Carrington-type events [slashdot.org] . And go through dim/bright cycles (almost all stars are variable to some degree, including ours).

Colonizing the moon or Mars doesn't guarantee survival of the human race. The only real way to do that is to move the planet far away from the star -- a.k.a. Fleet of Worlds. This is part of the wisdom contained in the Known Space books.

Re:Red giants, the scourge of not our time. (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41075211)

OTOH, in a billion years we may have the technology to prolong the life of a star.

Re:Red giants, the scourge of not our time. (1)

citizenr (871508) | about 2 years ago | (#41075517)

OTOH, in a billion years we may have the technology to prolong the life of a star.

Someone might even find a way to reverse entropy.

Re:Red giants, the scourge of not our time. (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 2 years ago | (#41076137)

OTOH, in a billion years we may have the technology to prolong the life of a star.

Someone might even find a way to reverse entropy.

Or even invent a machine where we can go back to a point in time of our choosing to escape the destruction of the planet.

Re:Red giants, the scourge of not our time. (1)

JockTroll (996521) | about 2 years ago | (#41078823)

Loserboy nerd, you want to reverse entropy, just ask your computer. It's not going to do anything but remind you there is no sufficient data for a meaningful answer but billions of years down the line, its descendant will eventually find a solution and reboot the Universe.

Re:Red giants, the scourge of not our time. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41075339)

A sufficiently advanced and long-lived civilization comes to realize that its sun is a liability, not an asset.

That's why the early advanced civilizations engineered most of the coalescing hydrogen into a multitute of gas giants instead of the stars most would have ended up in. Providing them with vast reservoirs of unspent fuel for the future. Also accounting for the 'missing mass' of dark matter. As soon as we can figure out whey they encased them in a non-reflective dyson-sphere-like structure.

Re:Red giants, the scourge of not our time. (4, Insightful)

thelexx (237096) | about 2 years ago | (#41077521)

If I have it right, humans have been around in anatomical form for about ~200,000 years. And in about one billion years, the sun will begin expansion. Let's also say that in only 500,000,000 years it will already be unlivable on Earth for the reasons you mentioned.

We would still have ~2500 'lifetimes-of-humanity-thusfar' to figure it out.

Not. Worried.

Re:Red giants, the scourge of not our time. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41079601)

So your plan is to procrastinate for half a billion years then pull the mother of all-nighters?

pride of the human race you are.

Re:Red giants, the scourge of not our time. (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 2 years ago | (#41089313)

It's worked for underclassmen for centuries. Can't beat the track record...

Re:Red giants, the scourge of not our time. (1)

petsounds (593538) | about 2 years ago | (#41078869)

A sufficiently advanced and long-lived civilization who subscribes to the theory of heat death comes to realize that its universe is a liability, not an asset.

Such a civilization has two obvious choices: find a mirror universe to colonize which is not fading to black due to differing physical characteristics, or find a way to travel back in time.

Re:Red giants, the scourge of not our time. (4, Interesting)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#41078903)

Of course reaching the end of its life and going nova or red giant is bad. But even well before that, stars are known to throw nasty flares and Carrington-type events [slashdot.org]. And go through dim/bright cycles (almost all stars are variable to some degree, including ours).

Actually, even if the Sun behaves in a perfectly orderly fashion, life on Earth will be doomed long before that since the total radiative output of the Sun will gradually increase as the Sun will be moving on the H-R diagram main sequence. It could easily be unlivable here in just a few hundred million years.

Re:Red giants, the scourge of not our time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41080689)

It gets worse, pretty much any star in our galaxy could collapse, fire off a gamma ray burst pointed at us and wipe out all life in our solar system. In space there are events powerful enough that travel at the speed of light that could destroy life as far as a galaxy away. There is no "safe spot" The only safety is in statistics. There are gamma ray burst out there that could destroy us all the time. The only reason we are here is we were luckily enough to not be in their direct path (at least from ones in our galaxy).

Re:Red giants, the scourge of not our time. (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41082121)

food for thought as to how to keep the human species going long after the Sun starts going off the main sequence into red giant-hood

How about a little perspective here? Humans won't be around in four billion years. Hell, we haven't been around for two million. We'll either become extinct, or evolve into something else. In fact, I've been writing a little fiction [slashdot.org] about our descendants ten million years from now, who call us "protohumans".

Headline is vague (2, Informative)

neminem (561346) | about 2 years ago | (#41073907)

I would have been far more interested to know what kind of crazy planet was capable of devouring stars.

Re:Headline is vague (4, Funny)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41073975)

I would have been far more interested to know what kind of crazy planet was capable of devouring stars.

Uh,... Uranus?

How original! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41074223)

I don't think anyone has ever made a "Uranus" pun before. I sure am glad creative thinkers like you roam the net.

My hat is off to you, sir.

Re:How original! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41074615)

That is why I propose we change its name to Urectum to end that stupid joke once and for all.

Re:How original! (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41075163)

That is why I propose we change its name to Urectum to end that stupid joke once and for all.

With all due respect to you sir, I must disagree. I believe it would be a much bleaker existence were "Uranus" jokes to be banned. http://www.nottriangles.com/blog/uranus.html [nottriangles.com] And fart jokes. Yeah, farts will always be funny... http://www.youtube.com/watch?nomobile=1&v=CCtiQTQQ7QA [youtube.com]

Re:Headline is vague (2)

ikarys (865465) | about 2 years ago | (#41075945)

Where the sun don't shine.

Re:Headline is vague (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#41078927)

I would have been far more interested to know what kind of crazy planet was capable of devouring stars.

Uh,... Uranus?

I always thought that Venus was the only crazy planet, especially in *that* time of the month. Of course, with Venus having no moon and with its day being longer than its year, it turns out that that time of the month happens on Venus pretty much all the time.

Re:Headline is vague (1)

Streetlight (1102081) | about 2 years ago | (#41076957)

Man bites dog.

Re:Headline is vague (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41078347)

The headline is not vague. It can only mean that a star is devouring a planet. Alternatively, the headline "Astronomers Watch Star-Devouring Planet" would also mean just one thing: that a planet was known to devour one or more stars. See? If you are familiar with the English language, you can read things written in it without confusion!

Re:Headline is vague (1)

jimshatt (1002452) | about 2 years ago | (#41078489)

Except that familiarity is not the same as aptitude.

Vague title (0)

Megor1 (621918) | about 2 years ago | (#41073909)

Based off the title it is unclear if this is about a star that devours planets or a planet that devours stars.

Re:Vague title (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#41074083)

I think it would need technically need to be "star-devouring" to mean a planet that devours stars. As it stands, it is not strictly speaking ambiguous, unless you relax the rules somewhat. Since this is the Internet, though, I supposed relaxed rules are the norm, so you do make a valid point.

Re:Vague title (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41074461)

Exactly, I thought this was going to be about Gabourey Sidibe.

Obligatory (0)

cashman73 (855518) | about 2 years ago | (#41073925)

I [wikipedia.org] felt a great disturbance in the Force [wikipedia.org] , as if millions of voices [wikipedia.org] suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.

Re:Obligatory (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#41074235)

I [wikipedia.org] felt a great disturbance in the Force [wikipedia.org] , as if millions of voices [wikipedia.org] suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.

I hope Jor-El got Kal-El off in time.

Re:Obligatory (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41074701)

Leave your slashfic at home.

Pervert.

Don't Panic! (4, Informative)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41073933)

Just grab your towel and your copy of "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy". You DO have your copy, don't you??

Re:Don't Panic! (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#41074443)

Just grab your towel and your copy of "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy". You DO have your copy, don't you??

Of course I have a copy of my towel.

wait wut?

If we survive, sun-expansion is laughable. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41073953)

5 billion years? We'd actually be well established in other solar systems and have the ability to engineer our own solar system from scratch using our current one as resources for it.

Sometimes I almost wonder if those "hurtling stars" are in fact versions of these that have been built by some advanced civilization.
The ability for a star to just be launched out of alignment with the galaxy just seems unlikely. Very unlikely.
Literal starships in every sense of the meaning.
Huge container around the star, vents around it to release more mass out to go in the opposing direction.

Re:If we survive, sun-expansion is laughable. (1)

UncleWilly (1128141) | about 2 years ago | (#41074043)

pfff I bet $20 we crack the 4th dimension in, say.. 500 million years. After that, none of this really matters.

Re:If we survive, sun-expansion is laughable. (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | about 2 years ago | (#41075371)

That's not the way the puppeteers did it.

Re:If we survive, sun-expansion is laughable. (1)

able1234au (995975) | about 2 years ago | (#41076717)

Given some stars come from other galaxies that the Milky Way swallowed and also some stars are ejected from clusters it is not surprising some stars are "launched out of alignment with the galaxy"

Re:If we survive, sun-expansion is laughable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41077649)

5 billion years? We'd actually be well established in other solar systems and have the ability to engineer our own solar system from scratch using our current one as resources for it.

Agreed, more or less.

Sometimes I almost wonder if those "hurtling stars" are in fact versions of these that have been built by some advanced civilization.
The ability for a star to just be launched out of alignment with the galaxy just seems unlikely. Very unlikely.
Literal starships in every sense of the meaning.
Huge container around the star, vents around it to release more mass out to go in the opposing direction.

Are you on crack? First, given the range of "normal" orbits in the galaxy, and a rudimentary understanding of newtonian mechanics, it's not at all unlikely.

Second, as every schoolboy knows, we categorize stars by their spectrum, which is determined principally by the composition and temperature of the outermost opaque layer. Do you think your proposed stellar bottle will leave this spectrum unchanged?! (That requires it to be the same temperature and similar composition, as the star, or to be transparent across all observable wavelengths!) Or do you think we wouldn't notice the spectral changes it does cause, and the fact that they only appear on stars with high proper motion?

Plants getting devoured... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41074023)

Back in my day we didn't devour 'em, we just rocked 'em like my friend Sonny here: http://www.facebook.com/officialsonnymendez

Re:Plants getting devoured... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#41074481)

Back in my day we didn't devour 'em, we just rocked 'em like my friend Sonny here: http://www.facebook.com/officialsonnymendez [facebook.com]

What about Hotblack Desiato and Disaster Area? They rock planets on seismic orders of magnitude.

FTFY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41074067)

Astronomers Watch as Star Devours Planet

Now was that so hard?

Re:FTFY (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41074157)

Which is close to what the submission used which was 'Astronomers catch a star in the act of devouring a planet'. Soulskill was trying to be an editor but did a shit job at it.

Re:FTFY (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 2 years ago | (#41074883)

Thank you.

Wish he wouldn'tve screwed up the formatting too... Original submission [slashdot.org]

Let's just make it to next year... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41074085)

Five billion years or so is a long way off, so it's likely none of us has to worry about it.

...never mind the Dec 21, 2012 thing

A star devouring planet? (1, Redundant)

JoeWalsh (32530) | about 2 years ago | (#41074127)

Woah! That's some incredible planet. I'd have thought it would be the other way around.

Re:A star devouring planet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41074221)

That's what I thought too!

Caught in the act? (2)

MDMurphy (208495) | about 2 years ago | (#41074129)

I guess some hyperbole comes in handy when you're trying for grants and other funding, it's definitely the norm for reporters. In the article though at least the researching team isn't quoted saying they observed it happening, but that they found evidence of it having happened. Another supposed scientist from Spain had to through in the "caught in the act" line though.

Granted something that far away will never be observed as it happened, but it's not like they observed the occurrence as it appeared here. It's like the difference between seeing the blood on the ground and a body and seeing the person being shot. One is seeing the act, one is seeing the evidence.

Re:Caught in the act? (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#41074571)

It's like the difference between seeing the blood on the ground and a body and seeing the person being shot. One is seeing the act, one is seeing the evidence.

No, its like the difference between just thinking that the gun pointed at your head is loaded and might kill you, and finding evidence that proves you're certainly going to die unless you do something about it.

Re:Caught in the act? (4, Funny)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#41074607)

Spectra or it didn't happen.

Feed me!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41074217)

Come on and Feed ME!!!

Wait... this took seven WEEKS to hit mainstream? (5, Informative)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#41074227)

Please don't tell me it was off for peer review!?

Apart from that: Headline and TFS is sensationalist trash. No direct observation of the planet being devoured as suggested, we'll have to wait for the new L2 space telescope for even a possibility of that. All we have is an anomalous Li spectrum which **suggests**, in accordance with **currently accepted theory** of lithium propagation, that a planet **may** have just fallen into its parent star.

Re:Wait... this took seven WEEKS to hit mainstream (3)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#41074499)

Please don't tell me it was off for peer review!?

Apart from that: Headline and TFS is sensationalist trash. No direct observation of the planet being devoured as suggested, we'll have to wait for the new L2 space telescope for even a possibility of that. All we have is an anomalous Li spectrum which **suggests**, in accordance with **currently accepted theory** of lithium propagation, that a planet **may** have just fallen into its parent star.

People run for public office on even less.

really? nobody? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41074345)

Galactus [slashdot.org] . It's isn't a planet, it's a spaceship...

They say our planet will be eaten (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | about 2 years ago | (#41074663)

They say our planet will be eaten by the sun in 5 billion years but.. how soon will the growing sun end life on earth? Our planet will be long dead by the time the sun actually touch's earth. So our life on earth is a lot lot shorter then 5 billion it could be a thousand or less were loosing Glaser at an alarming rate huge chunks of the Antarctic are popping off. Are we at the beginning of the end now?

Re:They say our planet will be eaten (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41075241)

" Our planet will be long dead by the time the sun actually touch's earth."
Based on... what? I don
t think our planet will be lifeless until the suns expansion.
Might not be human life.

Re:They say our planet will be eaten (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 2 years ago | (#41076161)

" Our planet will be long dead by the time the sun actually touch's earth."
Based on... what? I don
t think our planet will be lifeless until the suns expansion.
Might not be human life.

That's what the martians thought, too.

Re:They say our planet will be eaten (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41076467)

" Our planet will be long dead by the time the sun actually touch's earth." Based on... what? I don t think our planet will be lifeless until the suns expansion. Might not be human life.

That's what the martians thought, too.

What martians? ....Oh, yeah.....

Re:They say our planet will be eaten (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | about 2 years ago | (#41076393)

The sun isn't going to get cooler as it grows, hell it might take the sun expanding by a foot to heat our planet to 150 degrees daylight temps. I don't know in no scientist but i bet the scientist know just when and how long we actually have. But its going to be far less then 5 billion far far less

Re:They say our planet will be eaten (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41075817)

...were loosing Glaser at an alarming rate...Are we at the beginning of the end now?

No. Please. Don't loose Glaser [google.com] on the world!

Re:They say our planet will be eaten (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41080571)

They say our planet will be eaten by the sun in 5 billion years but.. how soon will the growing sun end life on earth? Our planet will be long dead by the time the sun actually touch's earth. So our life on earth is a lot lot shorter then 5 billion it could be a thousand or less were loosing Glaser at an alarming rate huge chunks of the Antarctic are popping off. Are we at the beginning of the end now?

Based on the content of your post, I'd suggest most definitely ...

Gotta say... (1)

Xandrax (2451618) | about 2 years ago | (#41074835)

The hubris of of someone thinking humans will be around in 1000 years, much less 5 billion, is astonishing.

Re:Gotta say... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41075257)

Why is the hubris? we've been around for or 10,000. Why not the next thousand?

Re:Gotta say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41075357)

He just thinks he's cool for saying "hubris".

Re:Gotta say... (1)

Xandrax (2451618) | about 2 years ago | (#41075629)

lol

Re:Gotta say... (1)

Xandrax (2451618) | about 2 years ago | (#41075599)

Because our technology was not advancing as fast as it is now, or capable of the level of destruction that it soon will be. The answer to the Fermi Paradox is that species destroy themselves when technology gets to point where true space travel is possible. Technology advances technology, to the point that technological evolution advances far faster than societal evolution. As a result, technology is created that a species is not responsible enough to handle, and it destroys itself either in the form of weapons or its inability to control the technology it creates.

How long do you think our species would last if a way was found to create a fusion device from household products that could be used as a weapon? We're one discovery away from killing ourselves off, and the faster our technology advances, the more likely that discovery is to be found.

I'm not saying that we need to stop scientific advancement, I'm just saying that it's very likely to lead to our own destruction due to our immaturity at handling the technology we have and are on the verge of discovering.

Re:Gotta say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41080043)

10,000? More like 200,000.

Re:Gotta say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41080763)

Well, there are a few significant things we've managed in the last couple of hundred years that we hadn't achieved previously ... nuclear weapons, biological weapons, fossil fuel dependency, destroying our atmosphere ...

That said, I think if we survive the next thousand then we've a good chance of surviving the next five billion.

Re:Gotta say... (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | about 2 years ago | (#41077219)

I think we'll be around a lot longer than another thousand years.

Whether we'll still have Americans, though, remains to be seen...

Re:Gotta say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41078045)

I think we'll still be around in a thousand years, but 5 billion? According to the current scientific understanding, we arrived at our current state from a single-celled organism in a little under 4 billion years, so assuming Darwin was right, it's pretty close to certain that whatever is still living here by that time will most decidedly not be human.

Still us? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41074873)

I think the question might be, will we actually be human in 4-5 billion years or evolved through several species along the way to some other solar system?
But, thats an evolutionary idea.

Re:Still us? (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41075411)

I think the question might be, will we actually be human in 4-5 billion years or evolved through several species along the way to some other solar system? But, thats an evolutionary idea.

Where might we be in 1000 years... http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-489653/Human-race-split-different-species.html [dailymail.co.uk] Stephen Hawking on where we will be in 5 million years... http://bigthink.com/dangerous-ideas/5-stephen-hawkings-warning-abandon-earth-or-face-extinction [bigthink.com]

I'm not sure the (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 2 years ago | (#41075401)

A similar fate may await the inner planets in our solar system, when the Sun becomes a red giant and expands all the way out to Earth's orbit some five-billion years from now

I see this a lot, and it isn't unreasonable to believe, except for the fact that we will collide with the Andromeda [wikipedia.org] in four-billion years. We will likely be torn away from our sun and consumed by other masses before we have to worry about being swallowed

Re:I'm not sure the (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 2 years ago | (#41076419)

Galaxy collisions aren't quite like car accidents.

Re:I'm not sure the (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41076485)

That is unlikely. The space between stars is so vast that even a galactic collision probably won't destroy or even disturb most of the solar systems within.

Knowing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41075557)

A movie should be made about this concept.

Let's call it Knowing [imdb.com]

Food for... (1)

Vexler (127353) | about 2 years ago | (#41075785)

"But still, watching a star eating its own planets is not only cool in its own right, but also provides food for thought as to how to keep the human species going long after the Sun starts going off the main sequence into red giant-hood."

Oh, I get it. Food for thought. Delicious.

Relax, this is only an artist's impression (1)

photonyx (2507666) | about 2 years ago | (#41075789)

Same as /. articles are submitters' impressions. Both are catchy but as a rule grossly inaccurate.

Hate to rain on the exoplanet parade... (1)

ModernGeek (601932) | about 2 years ago | (#41077053)

However, there is also a hypothesis that exoplanets observed by means of dimming may just be the star experiencing a giant sun spot. Rather than this being an exoplanet being devoured by a star, it may just be a star's sunspot closing up.

Re:Hate to rain on the exoplanet parade... (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about 2 years ago | (#41077943)

Sunspots don't generally cause spikes in the lithium spectrum.

Just sayin'.

Food for thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41078333)

But still, watching a star eating its own planets is not only cool in its own right, but also provides food for thought as to how to keep the human species going long after the Sun starts going off the main sequence into red giant-hood.

More like food for stars.

I read that wrong (1)

crowaust (2510500) | about 2 years ago | (#41078353)

I initially read "Astronomers Watch a Star Devouring Planet" which read like the Planet was eating the Star which I was thinking WTF?????? After re-reading the OP and the title I realised that I had read it wrong.

Not our sun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41078397)

the Sun starts going off the main sequence into red giant-hood

Our sun might not be massive enough to engulf the earth and might just finish its main sequence as a little red riding-hood.

Geesh (1)

Sqreater (895148) | about 2 years ago | (#41079783)

I'm trying to decide what I'll have for breakfast.

BD+48 740? (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about 2 years ago | (#41080137)

Come on now, name it Glactus already!

Star devouring planet (1)

Tyrannicsupremacy (1354431) | about 2 years ago | (#41083259)

I am disappointed that this article ended up being the opposite of what I imagined it to be.

Poorly worded title. (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about 2 years ago | (#41086555)

I can't be the only one who comprehended the title as some monster planet that somehow devoured a star and immediately said, "WTF? It has to be the other way around." And sure enough, it is meant to be the other way around.

YKIOK,IJNMK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41088231)

I smell a (new?) vore subgenre...

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