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Perhaps it is fate that awaits Earth

Perhaps it is fate that awaits Earth

He discovered for the first time an exoplanet spinning in a spiral around its developing star, towards which it is heading to collapse. Even Earth can “die” like this.

Illustration of an exoplanet about to collide with a star. Credit: Gabriel Pérez Diaz / Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias

For the first time in the history of astrophysical research A planet He rushes towards her star in advanced stageWith’spiral orbit Which will inevitably lead to Fatal crash with the star. It’s a fascinating and deeply significant finding, not just for the dynamics going on, but because such a gruesome fate can await Earth in a few billion years. We don’t know exactly what will happen in the very distant future, but on our planet it could “devoured” by the sun It expands in phase red giantor separate from its current orbit and pushed outward. This is why it is important to study what happens to this exoplanet (exoplanet) Call Kepler 1658 b.

The fate awaiting the alien world was discovered and described by an international research team led by scientists from the Astrophysical Center – Harvard and the Smithsonian, who collaborated closely with colleagues from Princeton University’s Department of Astrophysics, Caltech’s (CALTECH) Department of Planetary and Geological Sciences, of the Department of Astrophysics. Physics and Astronomy at University College London and other institutions. The researchers, coordinated by astrophysicist Shreyas Vissapragada, came to their conclusions after analyzing Orbital transit times of Kepler-1658b through various instruments: space telescopes Kepler (retired years ago) e he-goat (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Telescope) and Observatory Palomar/Werk in Southern California.

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By traversing the data collected they determined that the planet is outside the solar system Orbit in less than three days around its star and that each (Earthly) year this time is reduced by 131 thousandths of a second. Based on these calculations, it is believed that the alien world will be swallowed up by Kepler-1658 relatively quickly, astronomically: “If it continues to rotate towards its star at the observed speed, the planet will collide with it in less than three million years”, he said in a press release Professor Visapragada. As indicated, this is the first time that a planet rotating in a spiral around its evolving star, in a phase, has been observed red giant. “The theory predicts that evolved stars are very efficient at drawing energy from the orbits of their planets, and we can now test these theories through observations,” said the study’s lead author.

The reduction of the orbital period and spiral motion, which have been determined over 13 years of observations, the scientists explain, is the result of gravitational phenomenon Among the celestial bodies said from the tide, similar to what causes the sea to rise and fall on land. The star is in a stage of red giant expansion/evolution that also awaits the Sun in a few billion years. By then, our planet may also be doomed to the same fate as Kepler-1658b, but life on our planet will be wiped out much sooner, due to the dramatic increase in temperatures that will lead to the evaporation of the oceans.

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Kepler-1658b is a file hot jovian Which orbits at a distance equal to one-eighth of the planet Mercury around the sun, so it is a completely “hellish” planet. It is located 2,600 light-years away from us. Its discovery could serve as a real laboratory for studying the dynamics of interaction between stars and planets in the last stage of their lives. Search detailsPotential demise of the first Kepler planetary systemIt was published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.