Don’t be alarmed, but scientists have just found a real-life Death Star which can vaporise an entire solar system. Yep, nothing to worry about there.
Using NASA’s Kepler space telescope to document the ‘White Dwarf’ star of Constellation Virgo, astronomers found that the star appeared to be sucking the life out of a large rocky object in orbit 520,000 miles away – roughly the distance from the Earth to the Moon – ripping it apart piece by piece, leaving behind a deathly spiral of floating debris due to the star's gravitational pull.
It is believed that the original object may have been a planet whose orbit became unstable, lost its mass and collided with other objects, smashing into asteroid-like pieces before being pulled in by the White Dwarf as it replenished its supply of metals. As shown in this artist's impression, by Mark A. Garlic.
Luckily for all us earthlings, this Death Star is located is 570 lightyears away, meaning that it stands little chance of ever reaching our galaxy. So all in all, it's quite a discovery.
Especially for Disney’s marketing team...
Following recent sci-fi smash The Martin, which benefited from a timely-if-unlikely PR win after water was found on Mars a week ahead of the film’s release, this news won't exactly hinder The Force Awakens press coverage.
Unless of course this was Disney’s plan all along. We wouldn’t put it past them.