Studying a dead distant planet could help humans to know more about the way in which Earth will finally die and perish, a new study report published in the journal Science says. Recently, researchers while monitoring a distant star in deep space stumbled upon an orbiting fragment of a dead, shattered planet, and experts believe that this could be actually a preview of Earth's inevitable fate in the future.
The study report claimed that the discovery of this planetary fragment orbiting around a white dwarf could shed light into the twilight years of planetary systems. Experts believe that the newly found planetary chunk could be actually a piece of the planet's shattered core. Scientists also speculate that the planet might have perished brutally during the star's death throes.
Researchers also revealed it is quite remarkable that the dead planet's fragments survived the extremely intense gravity of the white dwarf star.
"The white dwarf's gravity is so strong — about 100,000 times that of the Earth — that a typical asteroid will be ripped apart by gravitational forces if it passes too close," said Christopher Manser, lead author of the study and a physicist at the University of Warwick in Coventry, England, said in a statement.
The study report suggested that the planetary chunk might be orbiting around the star every two hours, and no larger than 250 miles in diameter to avoid being ripped apart by the white dwarf's gravitational force.
Scientists also revealed that both the dead star and the planetary chunk are located in our Milky Way, at a distance of 410 light years away from the Earth.
Experts believe that Earth could also face a similar fate when the sun swells into a red giant. As the sun swells, it will consume Mercury, Venus, and Earth, and will later shrink turning into a white dwarf.