Hubble catches planet being devoured by its star
The Hubble space telescope has discovered a planet in our galaxy in the process of being devoured by the star that it orbits, according to a paper published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
The doomed planet, dubbed WASP-12b, has the highest known surface temperature of any planet in the Milky Way -- around 1,500 degrees Celsius (2,800 degrees Fahrenheit).
But it could be enveloped by its own parent star over the next ten million years, the paper’s authors have concluded.
This NASA artist’s concept image shows that the hottest known planet in the Milky Way galaxy may also be its shortest-lived world. The doomed planet is being eaten by its parent star, according to observations made by a new instrument on NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS). The planet may only have another 10 million years left before it is completely devoured. (AFP/NASA)
Using a new instrument called the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph that was installed on Hubble in 2009, the researchers observed how the planet was whipped into an elongated shape by gravitational forces.
"We see a huge cloud of material around the planet, which is escaping and will be captured by the star. We have identified chemical elements never before seen on planets outside our own solar system," team leader Carole Haswell of The Open University in Great Britain said.
Discovered in 2008, WASP-12b is located about 600 light-years from Earth in the Auriga Constellation and is more than 300 times the size of Earth.
It also has a mass 40-percent greater than that of Jupiter, the biggest planet in our solar system.
It is so close to its parent star that it orbits it in little more than 24 hours.
Astronomers already knew that stars will swallow a planet that comes too close to it, but this is the first time that the phenomenon has been observed so clearly.
The paper, which was published in the May 10 edition of The Astrophysical Journal Letters, confirms a theoretical paper published in the journal Nature last Friday by Shu-lin Li, an astronomer at Peking University in Beijing.
Shu-lin had predicted that the planet’s surface would be distorted by the star’s gravitational pull, and that gravitational tidal forces would make the interior so hot that it would greatly expand its outer atmosphere.
Article from: news.yahoo.com/AFP
Can Planet X Nibiru Support Life? (Video)
George Carlin - Saving the Planet (Video)
Hubble shows Pluto "turning red" - Planet X?
Scientists discover Earth-like, water-rich planet: study
Earth-like planet discovered outside solar system
Suicidal planet seems on death spiral into star
Latest News from our Front Page
Your Smartphone Could be Tracking You Every 3 Minutes, Study Says
Your apps want to know where you are
Smartphone apps regularly collect large amounts of data on usersâ€™ locations, sometimes as often as every three minutes, new research suggests.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University conducted a study where they asked 23 people to use their Android smartphones normally, and tracked location data requests from each device with specially designed software, the Wall ...
Facebook accused of tracking all users even if they delete accounts, ask never to be followed
A new report claims that Facebook secretly installs tracking cookies on usersâ€™ computers, allowing them to follow users around the internet even after theyâ€™ve left the website, deleted their account and requested to be no longer followed.
Academic researchers said that the report showed that the company was breaking European law with its tracking policies. The law requires that users are ...
'Gay cake' bakery discriminated against client over sexual orientation, court told
David Scoffield QC, acting for the bakery, said if Leeâ€™s argument was right, a Muslim printer could not turn down a contract to print leaflets about the prophet Muhammad, an atheist could not turn down an order saying God made the world and a Roman Catholic printer could not decline making leaflets calling for the legalisation of abortion on demand.
Gay rights groups criticize Indiana religious liberties law
Editor's note: Would it be ok if a court forced a bakery operated by homosexuals, to make a cake for a Christian that says: "Homosexuality is a sin"?
What would the reactions be? One way tolerance?
Respecting peoples beliefs extends in all directions or in no direction.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed a religious liberties bill into law Thursday that has been ...
Daily Show's Trevor Noah under fire for Twitter jokes about Jews and women
Trevor Noah â€“ the surprise choice to succeed Jon Stewart as high-profile host of satirical news program The Daily Show â€“ has come under fire for a series of controversial tweets he posted before his appointment.
The South African comedian â€“ son of a Swiss-German father and half-Jewish South African mother â€“ was criticised for having made tasteless jokes about Jews ...
|More News » |