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David A. Aguilar (CfA)

Giant Star Will Gobble Up Two Planets

An expanding red giant star, dubbed Kepler-56, is about to make a meal out of two of its revolving planets. But before they’re gobbled up, the worlds will be subjected to a slow, tortuous death, becoming immensely hot, boiled, and stretched into egg shapes. The finding, presented today at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society, is a shocking reminder of our solar system’s own future; 5 billion years from now the sun will become a red giant and consume Mercury and Venus.

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