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Astronomers are about to witness how a planet is devoured by its star – and it’ll take millions of years, according to Science News.

In 2009, scientists launched the Kepler space telescope to find exoplanets by watching them cross in front of their stars. The first detected planet was initially dismissed as a false alarm, but a research team confirmed its existence in 2019.

Since then, the same team has been monitoring the exoplanet, which they named Kepler 1658b. The planet is roughly the same size as Jupiter, is incredibly hot, and orbits its star once every three days.

But a new study found that Kepler 1658b is getting closer to its star earlier than expected.

“You can see the interval between the transits is shrinking, really slowly but really consistently, at a rate of 131 milliseconds per year,” said co-author Shreyas Vissapragada.

Vissapragada explained that the planet has around two to three million years to live. To put it in perspective, if the planet’s lifetime was more than 100 human years, it would only have a little more than a month left to live before ending in a fiery death.

“For something that’s been around for 2 to 3 billion years, that’s pretty short,” he added.

Even so, Vissapragada noted that studying the planet’s demise will allow scientists to better understand the life cycle of similar planets.

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