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Space Science

Exoplanets Spotted Orbiting Dead Star 76

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 bobcat7677 ( 561727 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @06:02PM (#38453810) Homepage
    So...your grave still exists on whats left of a scorched rock vs being completely destroyed leaving nothing but particles in space? Sounds WAY better!
    • if you are an interstellar archaeologist, it definitely is better!
      • by bobcat7677 ( 561727 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @06:16PM (#38453964) Homepage
        TFA mentioned the planets had lost significant portions of their mass to the intense heat. I doubt there would be anything left for an archaeologist to look at.
        • by ClioCJS ( 264898 )
          So will my grave still exist on whats left on a scorched rock -- or not? You seem to want to have it both ways. Seems like you switched specifically to disagree with me. I used this to illustrate to "having it both ways" to my wife, who uses this tactic all too often ;)
          • by mister_playboy ( 1474163 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @06:51PM (#38454336)

            I would say your grave doesn't still exist on the remaining scorched rock, which I assume is the core of the planet. Your grave would have evaporated along with the outer layers of the former surface.

            Unless you have a really deep grave, anyway. :)

    • Sure, but who will come by to pick up the dead flowers and kick those pesky kids off the grounds after dark?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      This is great news in case it takes billions of years for the zombie apocalypse to finally happen. I don't want to miss out on the fun!

    • So...your grave still exists on whats left of a scorched rock

      Dig Up Yourself From Your GRAAAAAVE!!

      -- Children of Bodom, "Living Dead Beat"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @06:09PM (#38453876)

    But... I was hoping humanity would still be around to see the copyrights to "Steamboat Willy" expire!

  • It's sure been a long time since I've used/seen $TITLE in online conversation.

  • Sun (Score:3, Funny)

    by Mister Liberty ( 769145 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @06:14PM (#38453940)

    I'd love to Sun expand again, and devour Oracle.

    • Re:Sun (Score:4, Funny)

      by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @06:19PM (#38454002)

      Unfortunately, Larry Ellison's planet sized ego would survive, much like these burnt out planets the article mentions.

      Only the burnt out planets didn't have golden parachutes.

      Larry Ellison does.

      • Which we know he will use as a solar sail to outrun the expanding sun. The sheer massiveness of his ego will contain enough atmosphere for the journey to the next planet that he can host Oracle on.

  • CCDs! (Score:5, Funny)

    by instagib ( 879544 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @06:23PM (#38454048)

    First a story about a comet flying through the sun unharmed. Now a story about planets surviving an expanding sun. Clearly a new PR strategy of the Climate Change Deniers (tm) !

  • Climate change is b**ch!
  • That's no moon!
  • by aepervius ( 535155 ) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @04:41AM (#38457388)
    In 800 million year to 1 billion year the sun luminosity will have increased so much as to make existence of life and even water in liquid form a rarity on earth, baring complete extinction.

    As for those purporting we should think about earth extinguishing and prepare the way for a futurama like civilisation :
    1) we aren't able to even get agreement on something as simple as CO2 and GCC which is a threat *now*
    2) we are still eating oil like tehre is no tomorow. And the way I see it : there won't be, because if we don't find an alternative source like fusion, our age of tech will *end* and there won't be another one *ever* (too much research depend on plentyful energy , so to regain back what we had, would be next to impossible)
    • Perhaps if we could dump the anti nuclear nuts, and start building new plants, fossil fuels would be less of an issue?

  • Exoplanets Spotted Orbiting Dead Star

    Wait till Emperor Palpatine finds out. Grand Moff Tarkin is gonna blow them the fuck off the spatial plane for orbiting too close to their security perimeter.

  • Will the surface of the Earth be completely replaced, and if so how many times, before the Sun explodes?

    Estimates for the Sun's lifetime are very common, but I've never seen lifetime numbers for the Earth's surface based on plate tectonics, mid-ocean rift spreading, and other crust replacement factors.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.