Once again, cosmologists have it turn around, stars (suns) are not cannibalistic, they don't eat their offspring (planets), at least not until they go supernova. The reason stars have all the makings (materials) of rocky planets on their surface and innards is the same reason an egg consists of all the ingredients and materials required for the makings of a baby chic. Which brings to mind that old quandary, "what came first the chicken or the egg?" The chicken came first and laid the egg, DUH. Same with the sun (star). The star came first and laid the eggs (planets). Far too simplified for some to make any sense of what I said? I thought so. The chicken was designed by Darwin for those inclined to believe in chances, or deities for those inclined to prayers before bedtime, or higher beings from the stars, for those endowed with superior knowledge and intellect.
When an international team of researchers studied HIP68468, a solar twin about 300 light years away, they discovered the star quite likely consumed planets that once orbited it. The solar twin’s composition revealed it contains four times more lithium than a start of its age — about 6 billion years — would be expected to have. It also contains a larger than usual amount of metals that are resistant to heat and are found in abundance in rocky planets.
“It can be very hard to know the history of a particular star, but once in a while we get lucky and find stars with chemical compositions that likely came from in-falling planets. That’s the case with HIP68468. The chemical remains of one or more planets are smeared in its atmosphere,” Debra Fischer, a professor of astronomy at Yale University who was not involved in the research, said in a statement.
The amount of lithium and the engulfed rocky planet material in the atmosphere of HIP68468 adds up to the equivalent of the mass of six Earths.
Dispelling the notion that the similarity of the “Death Star” — a nickname scientists gave HIP68468 after the fictional planet-destroying artificial structure in the “Star Wars” films — to the sun meant any danger to Earth, Jacob Bean, assistant professor of astronomy and astrophysics at University of Chicago and co-author of the study, said in the statement: “It doesn’t mean that the sun will ‘eat’ the Earth any time soon. But our discovery provides an indication that violent histories may be common for planetary systems, including our own.”
It is predicted that when the sun starts to expand into a red giant, about 5 billion years from now, Mercury will eventually fall into the fiery ball. Venus may follow, but the fate of Earth is as yet very uncertain. The study of solar twins and exoplanets is therefore important to get more definitive answers.
The HIP68468 study was published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.