A giant star has been caught in the act of swallowing three planets, one after the other, with each "meal" accompanied by a massive eruption.
The star, known as V838 Monocerotis, is about 20,000 light years from Earth. In January 2002, it temporarily became the brightest star in the Milky Way, 600,000 times more luminous than the Sun. [...] Retter and colleague Ariel Marom believe their new analysis of light emissions from the star indicates that it was a red giant that expanded and successively swallowed three relatively massive planets in quick succession. The time between the first and the last engulfment was only about two months.
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