Earth's Final Days Predicted

Posted: Oct 22 2015, 4:33pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

Earth's Final Days Predicted
Photo Credit: Getty Images

While it won't happen anytime soon, NASA has a very good lead on how the world will end. The death of a far-off solar system gives the best hint as to how this will happen. For the first time ever, Kepler 2 captured the destruction of a solar system that is similar to the one we live in. Astronomers believe that our solar system will have the same fate.

The images showed the rocky remains of a planet that was torn apart as it spiraled around a dead star. That planet is 570 light years from earth, according to Raw Story.

Scientists saw the planet swinging around the white dwarf at high speeds, about once every five hours. That is a classic sign that the solar system is tearing itself apart.

“This is something no human has seen before,” said Andrew Vanderburg at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. “We’re watching a solar system get destroyed.”

This star was likely once a sun that started to shred itself and burn out heavier elements. Eventually, the outer layers shred and the core is all that remains. Vanderburg's team spotted it because of the telltale dimming.

“We now have a smoking gun linking white dwarf pollution to the destruction of rocky planets,” Vanderburg said.

They aren't clear where the objects came from, but it could be another planet that deconstructed.

Our sun is set to do the same thing in five billion year, expand and engulf at least Mercury and Venus, but potentially Earth too. Even if Earth survives, it will likely shred as it flies toward the sun. “We might be seeing how our own solar system could be disassembled in the future,” said Vanderburg.

Francesca Faedi, an astronomer at the University of Warwick, said that the impact could affect other solar systems as well.

“It is extremely exciting that astronomers have recorded the final throes of a planetary system,” she writes in an accompanying article in Nature. “Although Earth’s final days are a long way into the future, this research has allowed us a glimpse of the probably inescapable outcome.”

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/46" rel="author">Noel Diem</a>
Noel passion is to write about geek culture.




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