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Massive Planets Might Escape Stellar Engulfment Largely Undiminished | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network

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Having your planet swallowed by a star is no fun. But some planets might be able to run the astrophysical gauntlet and make it through more or less intact.

When a star comparable to or somewhat larger than the sun enters advanced age, it swells up into a red giant, expanding far beyond its original radius. In the process, the star’s ballooning atmosphere will consume any nearby planets—such is the fate awaiting the planets of the inner solar system, Earth most likely included.

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