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Space Science

Exoplanets Spotted Orbiting Dead Star 76

Posted by samzenpus
from the zombie-planet dept.
astroengine writes "Scientists have found a system of planets that appears to have survived being engulfed by their dying parent star. The discovery raises questions about the ultimate fate of our solar system when the sun runs out of hydrogen gas in about 5 billion years and violently transform into an expanding red giant star. Scientists believe all the planets from Earth inward will be destroyed when the sun expands, but new research suggests that if planets are large enough, they may outlast their parent star's death, even if they are engulfed."
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Exoplanets Spotted Orbiting Dead Star

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  • by ackthpt (218170) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @06:34PM (#38454144) Homepage Journal

    Who the *beep* cares? Seriously....

    Because probability dictates a good chance of a Futurama-like world will exist sometime during that span. If you want to be a part get started on your own stasis chamber, now. Don't forget to take a pizza with you, so you'll have something to eat when you emerge.

    In the meanwhile, I'm more worried about the survivors of those dead worlds, who are on their way here.

  • Re:Oh come On. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by niktemadur (793971) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @02:34AM (#38456940)

    Five billion years from now... oh fuck it, I need a drink.

    Sobering up now, this "dead star" is really a white dwarf, isn't it?
    Time scales become truly mind-boggling when, after eons as a white dwarf, the nuclear reaction peters out, the "ember" still emitting heat for eons upon eons.

    If the proton decays, when the last white dwarf goes out, around 10^14 years from now, the Universe passes from the Stelliferous Era to the Degenerate Era, everything slowly cooling down, matter slowly disintegrating or being sucked into black holes, beyond the point when all free-floating matter has reached 1-to-1 odds of evaporating, roughly 10^40 years from now.

    If the proton decays, then the Universe enters the Black Hole Era, when there is no more matter to be sucked into singularities, so that they now begin the excruciatingly slow process of evaporating via Hawking Radiation. The last of the supermassive black holes will have evaporated by 10^100 from now. Then we enter a period of virtual infinity, named the Dark Era, the Universe inconceivably vast and empty and still accelerating.

    However, if the proton does NOT decay, circumstances and numbers become even more surreal/nasty, all stars NOT sucked into black holes reach 1-to-1 odds of becoming iron spheres at around 10^1500 years from now. That's right, all baryonic matter in the Universe will have frozen into an iron state. Finally, the last iron star will collapse into a neutron star or black hole at 10^10^76 (ten to the ten to the seventy six).

    And that's how thing will end and remain ended.

The goal of Computer Science is to build something that will last at least until we've finished building it.