It may seem like something sourced directly from the fever dreams of Michael Bay, but it’s true. The star known as HIP 85605 is on a collision course with our solar system.
We need not worry, however. According to study conducted by Dr. Coryn Bailer-Jones of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, the binary star from the Hercules constellation will pass by our system at a distance of 0.04 parsecs.
Despite what Han Solo would have you believe, a parsec is a unit of distance and .04 parsecs translates to 8,000 times the distance between the Earth and the Sun.
If that is still too close for comfort, know that this astronomical drive-by won’t occur for at least another 240,000 years.
“Even though the galaxy contains very many stars the spaces between them are huge,” Bailor-Jones said. So even over the (long) life of our galaxy so far, the probability of any two stars have actually collided—as opposed to just coming close—is extremely small.”
The close encounter (on a universal scale, anyway) will be the first since a gas giant passed within 0.35-1.34 pc of our solar system over 3.8 million years ago, according to Bailor-Jones.