Survivor planet around dead star gives us a peek at our solar system's future Maybe we should move to a moon of Jupiter before our sun dies.

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Maybe we should go to Jupiter’s moon before our sun dies.

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An artist’s rendering shows what it would have looked like had the star died and its Jupiter-like planet survived.


Our Sun has a time limit. It will reach the end of its life about 5 billion years from now. What will our solar system look like after the death of the Sun? Astronomers find a distant solar system that gives clues to the fate of our planets. Earth will probably break, but Jupiter may survive.

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A study published Wednesday in the journal Nature details a Jupiter-like planet in a Jupiter-like orbit around a dead, white dwarf star. The system is located near the center of the Milky Way and its discovery via the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii suggests that some planets in our own system may continue to exist even as our star went through its inevitable end-of-life system. Go. distant future.

“This evidence confirms that planets orbiting at sufficient distances can continue to exist after their star’s death,” said lead author Joshua Blackman, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Tasmania in Australia. “Given that this system is analogous to our own solar system, it suggests that Jupiter and Saturn may have survived the Sun’s red giant phase, when it runs out of nuclear fuel and self-destructs. “

Our Sun is expected to go through a few phases when it dies. It will expand into a red giant, a phase that NASA describes as “generally the most violent time in a star’s life.” This would happen when the Earth would pulsate and become uninhabited and potentially destroyed.

Thereafter, the Sun will settle into its white dwarf form as a dead star that is cooling and fading. Astronomers saw this type of star orbiting a planet like Jupiter. Keck Observatory shared a video animation of what it was like to experience that distant solar system and its remaining planet.

Co-author David Bennett of the University of Maryland and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center suggested that a move to the moons of Jupiter and Saturn may be worth considering. It believes that humanity is still around. That means our long-term ambitions for interplanetary life should include a look at some of Jupiter’s fascinating moons, like Europa, target of upcoming NASA mission.

Moving to Jupiter’s neighborhood will not solve all our problems. As Bennett pointed out, “…we as a white dwarf wouldn’t be able to rely on heat from the Sun for very long.”

some previous research, including a 2020 paper describes a giant planet that dodged destruction Show, by their own star, that these stars are likely to survive despite their tendency to go out in the flames of glory. Scientists are still working out how common or rare this might be.

The dying of our sun is not a serious problem for humanity, but it is not a bad idea to think ahead. An extremely optimistic, science-fiction-inspired vision of a distant-future human civilization not only beyond Earth and Mars and even Jupiter, but also living in other solar systems long before our planet became toast. can reach.

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