Swallowed By The Sun, Or Evading The Sun


Getting swallowed by a sun is a one-way street, there’s no coming back for a planet after that—or so it was thought, before the unusual case of a planet named Halla came to light. Halla orbits the star Baekdu at a distance half that of the Earth from the Sun. As a star nears its end, it expands. Our Sun is expected to eventually enlarge to 100 times the current size, engulfing multiple planets of our solar system. A deeper investigation into Baekdu’s core suggested that the star had at one time enlarged by 1.5 times, which would have certainly engulfed Halla. It’s surprising that the planet survived being engulfed, and was still present once the star had shrunk again. However, there is a different way to see this situation, too. As most astronomers speculate currently, the planet could have been born after the expansion, from a gas cloud left by the star. Or, the host star Baekdu may be a merger of two stars, which would have likely caused a smaller expansion. Hence, rather than having survived the belly of a star, it is more likely that the planet evaded the star.


Copyright @smorescience. All rights reserved. Do not copy, cite, publish, or distribute this content without permission.

Join 20,000+ parents and educators
To get the FREE science digest in your inbox!