|Manu||Date: Thursday, 14-October-2021, 3:29 PM | Message # 1|
|A crystal ball into our solar system's future|
by W. M. Keck Observatory
Astronomers have discovered the very first confirmed planetary system that resembles the expected fate of our solar system, when the Sun reaches the end of its life in about five billion years. The researchers detected the system using W. M. Keck Observatory on Maunakea in Hawaiʻi; it consists of a Jupiter-like planet with a Jupiter-like orbit revolving around a white dwarf star located near the center of our Milky Way galaxy.
"This evidence confirms that planets orbiting at a large enough distance can continue to exist after their star's death," says Joshua Blackman, an astronomy postdoctoral researcher at the University of Tasmania in Australia and lead author of the study. "Given that this system is an analog to our own solar system, it suggests that Jupiter and Saturn might survive the Sun's red giant phase, when it runs out of nuclear fuel and self-destructs."
The study is published in today's issue of the journal Nature.
"Earth's future may not be so rosy because it is much closer to the Sun," says co-author David Bennett, a senior research scientist at the University of Maryland and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "If humankind wanted to move to a moon of Jupiter or Saturn before the Sun fried the Earth during its red supergiant phase, we'd still remain in orbit around the Sun, although we would not be able to rely on heat from the Sun as a white dwarf for very long."
Read more/full article/source - https://phys.org/news/2021-10-crystal-ball-solar-future.html