Wandering Death Stars Dangerously Approaching Earth

Astronomers are currently observing a group of stars that could possibly intersect Earth's solar system, according to the Herald Sun.

Since the paths of the stars will take them near Earth and into a possible collision course, scientists have dubbed them as Death Stars.

The closest Death Star scientists from Germany's Max Planck Institute for Astronomy are monitoring is HIP-85605. Traveling from 16 light years away, the star might approach our solar system by .13 to .65 light years. This is equivalent to the distance between the Sun and the Earth multiplied by 8,000 times.

If the star continues to move through its current path, it will have a 90 percent chance of colliding with the solar system's Oort cloud, which is a large cluster of comets surrounding the sun. Earth will likely be hit by the debris from the collision.

Following HIP-85605 is the star Gliese 710. Although this Death Star is 64 light years away from Earth, it will pass by much closer to Earth than HIP-85605.

Aside from these two, astronomers said there are about a dozen more Death Stars heading toward Earth.

Despite the apocalyptic scenario suggested by the arrival of the Death Stars, scientists noted that the public should not worry. After all, if one of these stars collide with Earth or cause a catastrophic comet shower, it will happen 240,000 to 470,000 years from now.

John Bchanski of Rider University said Death Stars do not automatically imply an end-of-the-world scenario and that people should focus their concerns on more pressing matters.

"If I were a gambling man, I would bet that we'd still be safe, or that a comet shower caused by this star would not be the reason why we're not around," he told NBC. "Global warming or a world war would probably knock us out a lot sooner than that."

Adrian Melott, a physicist from the University of Kansas also doesn't believe the Death Stars will be the cause of Earth's total destruction.

"For any slice of time over the past 500 million years, you'd expect there to be mostly the same number of close encounters, and there's still life on Earth," he explained to NBC. "So however bad this is, generally, it doesn't look lethal."

"There have been a lot of mass extinctions, and some fraction of them could have been due to comet impacts...but it wasn't the end of the world," he added.

Tags Stars, Earth, Space, Science

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