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A quarter of Sun-like stars eat their own planets, according to new research

By Lorenzo Spina, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Italian National Institute for Astrophysics, and formerly Research Fellow, Monash University
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How rare is our Solar System? In the 30 years or so since planets were first discovered orbiting stars other than our Sun, we have found that planetary systems are common in the Galaxy. However, many of them are quite different from the Solar System we know.

The planets in our Solar System revolve around the Sun in stable and almost circular paths, which suggests the orbits have not changed much since the planets first formed. But many planetary systems orbiting around other stars have suffered from a very chaotic past.

The relatively calm history of our Solar System has…

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