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In what may be called a startling discovery in the field of space science, scientists at European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile have found a ‘cannibal’ star. They have called the white dwarf star a ‘cannibal’ because it devoured and ingested the surrounding planets and asteroids it was born with. What it left was just a metallic scar. It has been reported in ‘The Astrophysical Journal Letters’. The results of the observation have been published in the journal where the study’s co-author John Landstreet, a professor at Western University, Canada said that nothing of this kind was ever reported earlier.

Gas and dust can consume star

This observation has shed light on the dynamic nature of planetary systems at the fag end of its life cycle and the eventual fate of our own solar system. It has also explained the phenomenon and proved that the gas and dust surrounding a star after its birth can consume the star at the end.

Magnetic field plays key role

According to CNN, lead study author Dr. Stefano Bagnulo, an astronomer at Armagh Observatory and Planetarium in Northern Ireland, told about the phenomenon. He said in a statement that the magnetic field of the star plays a key role in this process.

Scientists have also said that the magnetic fields funneled these metal elements onto the cannibal star and concentrated them at its poles and thus the metallic ‘ scar’ was formed.

The space scientists have said further that the results of this observation would help scientists learn more about the composition of exoplanets.

FAQs:

What is a ‘cannibal star’?
Scientists have found that the gas and dust surrounding a newborn star can eventually devour and ingest the star itself. A dwarf star has been found doing it and scientists have called it a ‘cannibal’ star.

How does the gas and dust devour a star?
Scientists have said that the magnetic fields funneled these metal elements onto the cannibal star and concentrated them at its poles and thus the metallic ‘ scar’ was formed.

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