The dwarf star known as Gliese 710 is hurtling through the universe and researchers are concerned that it could affect our galactic neighbourhood.
Astronomers have known about the star for some time and previous studies have shown that it should arrive in about 1.35 million years but new research has suggested it could arrive much sooner.
Building on the previous study from astronomers Filip Berski and Piotr A. Dybczyński, researchers now believe that it could come to our solar system in 1.29 million years.
The research from astronomers Raul de la Fuente Marcos and Carlos de la Fuente Marcos from the University of Madrid said: “Our results confirm, within errors, those in Berski & Dybczyński (2016), but suggest a closer, both in terms of distance and time, flyby of Gliese 710 to the solar system.”
While the star itself will be far enough from our solar system at a distance of 4,303 AU – one AU is the distance between the sun and the Earth – it could still cause widespread destruction.
This is because it could travel through the Oort Cloud.
The Oort Cloud is a cloud on the edge of our solar system which contains billions of icy objects.
When the star travels through it, these objects could fly out in all directions, putting Earth at risk from the offshoot of icy debris.
Some astronomers have speculated that a star passing through the Oort Cloud roughly 65 million years ago projected an asteroid in the direction of Earth which ultimately led to the demise of the dinosaurs.
The previous research from Filip Berski and Piotr A. Dybczyński read: “Gliese 710 will trigger an observable cometary shower with a mean density of approximately ten comets per year, lasting for three to 4 million years.”