Monday, September 3, 2012

Death of a Planet

Sometimes things happen on a very small scale, and sometimes on a very large one.

Star is caught devouring planet
BBC News, 12 August 2012

Astronomers have found evidence for a planet being devoured by its star, yielding insights into the fate that will befall Earth in billions of years.

The team uncovered the signature of a planet that had been "eaten" by looking at the chemistry of the host star.
They also think a surviving planet around this star may have been kicked into its unusual orbit by the destruction of a neighbouring world.
Jack Vance's Dying Earth Series took place on a very elderly earth - presumably before the Sun turned into a red giant and expanded out to gobble up the earth.  Or given the time frame, may the earth had been moved further out, and society than collapsed as the end came nearer.

Thumbnail sketch of planet being swalled up (original here)

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