Star Wars fans rejoice because the Death Star is real! But before you get too excited, it’s not all good news…
A recent study published in Astronomy and Astrophysics at Cornell University has discovered a giant star called HIP 68468, in a far off planetary system 300 light years away. This ball of gas is very similar to the Earth’s sun, save for the fact that it snacks on planets. Like a cat eating a canary.
Stars that are like our sun in terms of temperature, age and luminosity are called “solar twins.”
HIP 68468 is a solar twin and its chemical makeup greatly enthused the scientists, due to the very high lithium content within the star considering it’s young age of 6 billion years. They concluded that this element is only found in “rocky planets” that orbited the twin. Therefore, the only way for the star to contain that much lithium was by consuming these surrounding planets which they noticed are being pulled into HIP 68468.
Much like the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the Death Star which zaps planet’s out of existence, this finding shows evidence of what co-author and researcher Jacob Bean told CBC news are “violent histories.” These happenings may be much more common than we think. Especially within our own planetary cluster.
The scientists are watching 60 solar twins, according to Science Alert and they’ve discovered that 15% of these stars are munching on planets like venus fly traps.
The research team also says that our sun will probably swallow us in about 1 billion years. Better be nice to it until then.
Loaded staff writer Danielle De La Bastide has lived all over the planet and written for BuzzFeed, Thought Catalog as well as print publications throughout the Caribbean.