An Ancient Star Gave Earth A 'Close Call,' But How Close?
Scientists have found evidence that a star passed through our solar system just 70,000 years ago: the closest star flyby ever.By Sebastian Martinez | February 18, 2015
We don't tend to think of stars moving through space like comets, but scientists have found evidence that a red dwarf star, like this one, passed through our solar system just 70,000 years ago. (Video via NASA)
This is an artist's rendition of the visitor, a red dwarf binary system whose official name is really long and kind of hard to say, but it's also known as Scholz's star, so that's what we're going to call it from here on out.
Stars, like planets, have their own orbits; our sun orbits around the center of the Milky Way galaxy. But the thing is, galaxies are huge, so those orbits take a long time — 250 million years in the sun's case. (Video via NASA)