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Gigantic star on its last legs caught gulping down alien planet

The swelling size of the star indicates the swallowing of the innermost planet, lying closest to it.

Interstellar dining! A planet ends up as meal for a huge star. Penn State University astronomers caught a huge dying star gobbling up an alien planet!! .

According to experts, the red giant star’s behavior will be Earth's destiny billions of years later , presuming it may be engulfed at some time.

A dying swollen star has been discovered consuming one of its own planets.

Scientists are predicting a similar fate for the Earth a billion of years later when our own sun faces the process of dying.

The Red-Giant
They researchers have been peering closely at a prehistoric star that has stretched out in its old age taking the form of a “red giant".

The star named BD+48 740 is older, bigger with a radius 11 times greater than our sun. The swelling size of the star indicates the swallowing of the innermost planet, lying closest to it feel the scientists.

"A similar fate may await the inner planets in our solar system, when the sun becomes a red giant and expands all the way out to Earth's orbit some 5 billion years from now," stated Alex Wolszczan study team member and, an astronomer at Pennsylvania State University.

Evidence of the killing of planet
Large amounts of lithium have been traced in the star. The lithium is a very rare element in the cosmos hinting at the devouring of the planet.

"In the case of BD+48 740, it is probable that the lithium production was triggered by a mass the size of a planet that spiraled into the star and heated it up while the star was digesting it," claimed Wolszczan, who led the team that had found the first planets further than our own solar system, in 1992.

The scientists also found an orbit of an enormous planet around the star. The mammoth planet is nearly 1.6 times as colossal as Jupiter and circles the star elliptically in an orbit.

"We discovered that this planet revolves around the star in an orbit that is only slightly wider than that of Mars at its narrowest point, but is much more extended at its farthest point," said Andrzej Niedzielski of Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Poland, another study team member.

The case of the “Red –Giant" star appears online in the Astrophysical Journal.