If you’re having a bad day, it could be worse: A black hole could be eating your planet. A dusty blob that loops around the heart of the Milky Way might be all that’s left of an infant world, researchers suggest June 18 in the Astrophysical Journal. The embryonic planet could have been kidnapped by the region’s supermassive black hole and slowly disintegrated by harsh ultraviolet radiation.
Hundreds of young stars hang out in the center of the galaxy. Cometlike tails stream away from some of these younglings, which researchers recently proposed might be signatures of crumbling planet nurseries.