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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

 

Cower in Terror....Only not right now.

Gliese 710 hurtles towards an unsuspecting Sun (which is too dim to be seen in this Celestia image*)

Passed on by commenter JupiterIsBig. Be afraid, be .. somewhat afraid.. for the star Gliese 710 is hurtling our way and will cause a lethal hail of comets in .. well.. in 1.5 Million years. I'm not starting building the impact shelters yet. By the time it comes close we will probably be able to move stars around at will anyway (or be long extinct, one or 'touther).

What does this demon star of doom look like. Well, if you could see it from Australia tonight, (which you can't as it is below the horizon), you would need a small telescope to see the inauspicious magnitude 9.2 star just below eta serpens. It may look harmless now, safely 63 light years away, but whoompph! By a mere 1.5 million years it will be within 1.1 light years and will wreak havoc with our Oort cloud and Kuiper Belt, causing an umm, maybe a 5% increase in comet impacts?

Yes, I'm shaking in my boots.

The abstract of the paper is here, and the full paper here.

*sadly, tragically, you can set the date to 1.5 million years ahead in Celestia, but it doesn't move the stars according to their radial velocity. I'll try and come up with a fix.

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