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    A man takes picture of the screen displaying the moon, appearing in a dim red colour, which is covered by the Earth's shadow during a total lunar eclipse in Warsaw, Poland September 28, 2015

    'Star of Death': The Sun Could Destroy Moon, Earth in Billion Years

    © REUTERS / Kacper Pempel
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    Scientists believe that in a few billion years the Sun could become a "red giant" and destroy Mercury, Venus, Mars and the Earth. According to a new study, the Moon may become "the first victim" of the Sun in this process of destruction.

    Researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA) and the University of Warwick (Coventry, UK) analyzed the so called white dwarfs (WD) and confirmed previous assumptions about their dynamic interactions with planetary systems surrounding them.

    "A number of observed features suggest that not only do planetary systems exist around white dwarfs (WDs), but that these systems are dynamically active," the study said.

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    White dwarfs are stellar remnants, which are formed at the final stage of a star's life. While stars that have a lot of mass might turn to black holes and neutron stars, a low or medium mass star is likely to become a white dwarf that has its own stellar and planetary system inherited from its predecessor.

    White dwarfs and their planetary systems may interact in various ways.

    The attention of scientists has recently been attracted to the white dwarf named WD 1145 + 017 which is located at a distance of 570 light years from Earth and is about 175 million years old.

    Astronomers said they detected the white dwarf while it was in the process of destroying several planets, the first example of a solar system being torn apart by a dead star.

    Researchers fear that in several billion years the Sun may turn into a white dwarf and start to destroy the objects around it similar to WD 1145 + 017. In this case, the Sun is likely to destroy the Moon first, followed by the destruction of the Earth and other planets.


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