Planetary system with a deadly host star discovered

However, it does not mean that our Sun could one day gobble the Earth or the inner planets anytime sooner.

Scientists discovered the sun-like star named HIP68468 after it was part of a study with the objective of discovering planets that orbit stars which are very similar to our own sun.

Taking a cue from the famous "Death Star" in the "Star Wars" film saga, HIP68468 is theorized to have destroyed planets that veered into its path due to an orbit much closer than Earth is to the our own sun.

The co-author of the study, Jacob Bean, an assistant professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Chicago, while putting the light in this context, said: "we have found the evidence for the existence of a Sun-like death star that can ingest the planets coming in its way".

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Since the discovery of the first planet orbiting a star in 1995, astronomers have identified more than 2000 exoplanets which also includes some extremely rare planets which orbit a star similar to Earth's Sun.

Furthermore, according to reports by Daily Mail, another co-author of the study, Megan Bedell, a UChicago doctoral student and the lead planet finder for the collaboration reveals that the team plans to study more stars like this to see whether this is a common outcome of the planet formation process.

HIP68468 is six billion years old.

Instead, they probably migrated inward from the outer parts of the planetary system. The metals found in the star are those usually found on rocky planets.

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While studying HIP68468, which is located 300 light-years away, the worldwide team of astronomers detected high quantities of lithium in its atmosphere, along with other elements that are associated with rocky planets. In the 21 years since then, 2,000 exoplanets have been found. Observations of exoplanets orbiting solar twins are useful to determine what might happen to Earth and other planets in the solar system. However, planets preserve lithium as the temperature in their core is not hot enough to destroy the element.

"It can be very hard to know the history of a particular star, but once in a while we get lucky and find stars with chemical compositions that likely came from in-falling planets", Fischer said.

'That's the case with HD68468.

"It's as if we saw a cat sitting next to a bird cage", said Debra Fischer, of Yale University, in a statement. "The chemical remains of one or more planets are smeared in its atmosphere". Moreover, experts have highly emphasized that although the discovery of the solar twin provides clues, researchers are careful to point out that conclusions can't be drawn from a single system.

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(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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