Doomsday prediction

Published: Monday 30 June 1997

Researchers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, US, have discovered a star in the constellation Ophiuchus, which is on a collision course with the Oort Cloud, a region on the outskirts of the solar system containing billions of comets. If it hits the cloud, the star will send thousands of comets towards the sun, jeopardising the Earth. The star, Gliese 710, is about 100,000 times the size of the Earth and is moving towards us at a speed of 14 kin per second. But it is 63 light years away and it will take another million years for the collision to take place (New Scientist, Vol 154, No 2083).

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