Herbert Wells

The Star

The Star H. G. Wells — In January (about 1900, presumably), the people of Earth awaken to the news that a strange luminous object has erupted, into the Solar System, after disturbing the normal orbit of the planet Neptune. The object is a celestial body whose luminosity is distinguishable on the sky about the constellation of Leo.Although initially it is only of interest to astronomers, eventually the world media announces that it is a whole star, heading in a collision course toward the center of our star system. The star has already consumed Neptune. Many people are concerned by this, but on the whole it amounts to little more than a temporary fad.The rogue star continues on its path, now affecting the planet Jupiter and all its moons. At this point, the studies of a mathematician are published throughout the world. He explains that the intruding star and our Sun are exerting reciprocal gravitational attraction, and as a result it is being pulled deeper into the Solar System. Based on its orientation, it is determined that the star will either hit Earth or pass by at close proximity, which would lead to apocalyptic ecological consequences. As the luminosity disrupts nights on Earth, many people begin to worry, but cynics cite the year 1000, in which humanity also anticipated the world's end.The English winter softens progressively into a thaw, as the intruding star grows fast in the sky. Its high speed is evident during the worst hours of the event. On that day, in the sky above England the apparent size of the star was equivalent to a third of the size of the Moon. Upon reaching the skies of the United States, the apparent size has already increased to the size of the Moon.Soon all of the ice on Earth's surface begins to melt, causing widespread flooding. The star then begins to overshadow the Sun, whose hours seem darker. The planetary crust is affected too, with massive cracks forming and releasing lava on to the surface of the Earth. Tidal waves hit, particularly in the Pacific area, leading to devastation across the world. Most of the human population perishes, and its works are rendered unusable: cities, farms, etc. The few survivors witness the Moon interposing before the traveling star, creating a weak eclipse, as it is permanently removed from its steady orbit about the Earth into a new, more distant orbit. The star then resumes its path and finally meets the Sun.
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