Astronomers discover deep-fried planets
Baku, January 19 (AZERTAC). Scientists say the discovery of two Earth-sized planets, which survived the expansion of their host star, will shed light on the destiny of the Solar System.
The discovery, which is published in the journal Nature says the two planets have diameters just 76% and 87% of that of Earth and are around a star known as KIC 05807616.
The star is detected to be a former red giant and the planets KOI 55.01 and KOI 55.02 circle the star in extremely tight orbits.
Red giant refers to a late phase in a star's life when it expands and glows a more reddish color.
Scientists always believed that any planet that orbits close to a dying star will likely be engulfed in its expanding envelope of gas.
The newly discovered planets, however, most probably plunged deep into the star during the red giant phase and survived.
"The details of all this are of course uncertain and would require dedicated modeling but we expect that, due to friction and tidal dissipation, the engulfed planets must have spiraled in even deeper inside the star," said lead researcher Stephane Charpinet from Toulouse University, France.
Scientists believe that in about 5 billion years, our sun will have used up most of its fuel and will get to the end of its life.
The dying star will grow so large that will swallow the innermost planets of our solar system including Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.