linkDiscovery News said:It's a solid doomsday prediction that in about 5 billion years the dying sun will expand as a bloated red giant and engulf the Earth.
But imagine if in just a few weeks the middle-aged sun suddenly ballooned out to the orbit of Saturn and immediately vaporized Earth and most of the other planets in the solar system! And, even before this happened, imagine that every morning you awoke the sun was ever more sweltering until it began evaporating the oceans, spontaneously starting forests ablaze, and melting asphalt!
This sounds like the stuff of a far-out science fiction movie. But astronomers think that they actually witnessed such an event in 2002. A sun-like star on the edge of our galaxy abruptly grew 600,000 times brighter in a few weeks and ballooned 1,000 times its diameter. Alien astronomers on neighboring galaxies would have dutifully noted it as it briefly becoming one of the brightest stars in our Milky Way galaxy.
I'm both awestruck and humbled by this.