Beacon Transcript – Scientists discovered a rare example of stellar cannibalism as a Death Star was determined to have potentially eaten up its neighbors.
The outer space has long since been known as the great unknown. A recent discovery may have gone to reveal another piece of knowledge in the area. However, this is a less than optimistic one.
Solar systems have been known to enlarge by encompassing other planets. However, stars destroying other stars are a rare find.
A team of international researchers made such a discovery. The team was led by Jorge Mendez. He is a University of Sao Paulo, Brazil scientist.
Research on the matter was published in the Astronomy & Astrophysics journal.
The so-called Death Star system is known and was named as HIP68468. It was located some 300 light-years away from our Sun.
HIP684468 is one of the stars to be studied as part of the exoplanet program. This seeks to find and analyze an Earth-like star.
Since its beginning, over 2,000 exoplanets have been spotted. They were all seen to hold different properties. However, the Death Star is a rare occurrence.
Besides its possible expansion means, it has another special property. The Death Star is believed to be a “solar twin”. This means that it is similar and behaves as a Sun-like star.
HIP68468 was determined to have some unusual characteristics. It was established that it contains four times more lithium than expected for its age. The solar twin was estimated to be around 6 billion years old.
The Death Star also hosts refractory elements. This is the name given to heat-resistant metals. Refractory elements help create the mass of asteroids and terrestrial planets.
These space bodies were detected in the inner asteroid belt. Such a belt stretches from Mars to the Sun.
HIP68468 was revealed to have an exoplanet. This means it has a planet orbiting something other than their Sun. Such solar twin systems are rare. However, researchers are not advancing theories based solely on one such system.
HIP68468 received its Death Star appellation for a good reason. Researchers believe that the planet may have destroyed most of its neighbors.
The high lithium values are one of the factors pointing in this direction. Excess refractory elements are another such trace.
Taken together, this may reveal the abundant consumption of rocky planets. Stars such as the Sun and HIP86468 are believed to consume lithium.
Planets usually preserve lithium based on their lower inner temperatures. As such, when a planet gets swallowed up by a star, lithium stands out.
However, scientists stated that the Death Star’s behavior raises questions. As it is a rare occurrence, they cannot yet place it. As such, it is uncertain if it is a common or rare planetary formation outcome.
This is the statement released by Megan Bedell, a study co-author. According to her, more such stars would have to be studied. Only then could we reach a definite conclusion.
Jacob Bean, another study co-author, also released a statement. It was published on the University of Chicago website, where he is an assistant professor.
Bean strengthened the fact that the Sun is highly unlikely to swallow up Earth. Especially so not anytime soon.
However, he points out the inevitable conclusion. This addresses the fact that our Universe had an intense start. The violent planetary history has started being a common-enough occurrence.
As such, it may indicate that all planetary systems, including ours, may have had a violent past.
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