No, it's not Marvel's Galactus "The Devourer of Worlds," but these two stars have devoured up to 15 planets so far! They're named Kronos and Krios after the Greek Titan that ate children and they orbit each other every 10,000 years.
Surprisingly, NASA didn't catch these giant stars destroying planets not too far away. A team of researchers from Princeton University spotted them.
"Even if our sun ate the entire inner solar system, it wouldn't come close to the anomaly we see in this star," said David Hogg from the Center for Computational Astrophysics (CCA).
These two stars are moving as a pair in a binary system but their compositions are distinctly different from each other, leading to the discovery of their enormous appetites.
“I’m very easily excitable, so as soon as they had the same radial velocities and different chemistry, my mind already started racing,” said Adrian Price-Whelan, a Lyman Spitzer, Jr. Postdoctoral Fellow in Astrophysical Sciences and a co-author on the paper.
The researchers found traces of planets inside the stars. Kronos had an unusually high level of rock-forming minerals, including magnesium, aluminum, silicon, iron, chromium, and yttrium, without an equally high level of volatile compounds — usually found in gas form, like oxygen, carbon, nitrogen and potassium.
“All of the elements that would make up a rocky planet are exactly the elements that are enhanced on Kronos, and the volatile elements are not enhanced, so that provides a strong argument for a planet engulfment scenario, instead of something else," said Semyeong Oh from Princeton University, the lead author of the study.
Thank goodness these two stars are not headed towards our earth.