Science/Tech

Dead Planets Sing ‘Sad Song’ That People Can Hear On Earth

The Earth can hear something that you may find weird but can be exciting for astronomers. There are “zombie” planets that have been sending signals to our planet after they were destroyed by nearby stars. 

The signals are considered as a sad song. They come from dead planets that lost their atmosphere and were stripped down to their cores by aging stars. 

The signals can be a warning for what is waiting for Earth and humans in the future. Astronomers said the Sun may also do the same to its orbiting planets as the star gets older and reaches the end of its lifespan. 

Dying stars tend to expand into an extremely hot giant, called a white dwarf, and burn nearby planets. Astronomers said the signals coming from the zombie planets were produced by the white dwarf’s magnetic field. 

Radio telescopes on Earth detected the radio waves from the distant system. Now, researchers plan to record more signals and search for their sources. 

"Nobody has ever found just the bare core of a major planet before, nor a major planet only through monitoring magnetic signatures, nor a major planet around a white dwarf,” Dimitri Veras, from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom, said in a statement. “Therefore, a discovery here would represent 'firsts' in three different senses for planetary systems.” 

A study, published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, details the first dwarf stars that potentially have orbiting dead planets. It also provides information on how Earth may become one of the planets singing its sad song in the future. 

“We think that our chances for exciting discoveries are quite good," Alexander Wolszczan, one of the researchers and a professor at the Pennsylvania State University, said. 

Previous reports predict that the Sun will expand into a red giant star in the next five or six billion years. Astronomers said the star may grow hundreds of times larger than its current size. 

Such size will reach Mercury, Venus and unfortunately, Earth. The Sun will then stay as a white dwarf for billions of years, according to Astronomy.com

Exoplanet An artist's impression of a dead exoplanet and a nearby star. Pixabay

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