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Scientists say sun will expand to 1,000 times its size and obliterate Earth instantly – after studying similar transition of a star in outer space


Our sun is predicted to expand to 1,000 times its size in its last stages of life, obliterating Earth instantly – and a distant star will play out the catastrophic event.

New mathematical calculations of the Rho Coronea Borealis, located in the habitable zone 57 light years away, reveal it is nearing the end of its lifecycle and will transition into a red giant in about one billion years.

All four known orbiting plants will be impacted by the star’s stellar atmosphere, with some being evaporated and others ripped apart.

Scientists first theorized the same fate for our sun around the 1940s but concluded it would not likely happen for another five billion years.

Our sun is predicted to expand to 1,000 times its size in its last stages of life, obliterating Earth instantly - and a distant star will play out the catastrophic event

Our sun is predicted to expand to 1,000 times its size in its last stages of life, obliterating Earth instantly – and a distant star will play out the catastrophic event

‘We show that the inner three planets (e, b, and c) are engulfed during the red giant phase and asymptotic giant branch, likely destroying those planets via either evaporation or tidal disruption,’ reads the study published in arXiv.

Rho Coronae Borealis is a yellow-orange main sequence dwarf star with 96 percent of Earth’s sun mass, 1.3 times its radius and 1.7 times its luminosity.

However, Rho Coronae Borealis is twice as old as our sun, which is 4.6 billion years old.

The sole author of the new paper is Stephen R. Kane, from the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California, Riverside, who set out to see what happens to exoplanets tightly orbiting a star once it expands, Universe Today reports.

Kane used a stellar evolution model to observe the effects once the star transitions into a gas giant.

All four known orbiting plants will be impacted by the star's stellar atmosphere, with some being evaporated and others ripped apart.

All four known orbiting plants will be impacted by the star’s stellar atmosphere, with some being evaporated and others ripped apart.

A stellar evolution model is a mathematical model that can be used to compute the evolutionary phases of a star from its formation until it becomes a remnant.

Kane wrote that he and his team overlaid the evolving star properties against the orbits of the planet. 

The three planets are at least the size of Earth, with the innermost two closer to the star than Mercury.

The model predicted the star would become a red giant at 11.5874 Gyrs- one Gyrs equals one billion years.

And planets e, b, and c are engulfed by the star at stellar ages of 11.5630, 11.5785, and 11.5846 Gyrs.

‘At which point the star encompasses all planets except for the outer planet, d,’ the study reads.

‘At 11.7088 Gyrs, the star engulfs planet d again.’ 

‘Although all of the planets will enter the stellar atmosphere of Rho CrB, their individual prognoses vary considerably,’ Kane explains.

The scientist believes Planet e is terrestrial and will evaporate instantly.  

Planet b is larger than Jupiter and will spiral out of control when the sun expands, causing a ripple effect into Planet c.

And Planet d will then be engulfed, but Kane notes in the study that the world could just be pushed into another orbit. 

‘The evolution of stars through their progression on the main sequence, expansion into a giant star, and then final contraction into a white dwarf, has profound consequences for the orbiting planets,’ Kane wrote.

‘Given the masses and semimajor axes of the four known planets, we predict that planet e will evaporate within the stellar atmosphere, planet b will in-spiral and be tidally disrupted, potentially further inflating the star, and planet c will evaporate within the stellar atmosphere.’ 



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