Hubble catches planet being devoured by its star
2010 05 25

From: YahooNews/AFP

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



Related Articles
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

NATO Exercise in Ukraine Coincided with MH-17 Shoot-down
2014 07 24
Rapid Trident was omitted from the flurry of coverage on the shoot-down MH-17. From the U.S. Army in Europe website: Rapid Trident supports interoperability among Ukraine, the United States, NATO and Partnership for Peace member nations. The exercise helps prepare participants to operate successfully in a joint, multinational, integrated environment with host-nation support from civil and governmental agencies. ...
Warning of ’imminent’ terror attack in Norway
2014 07 24
Norwegians were warned Thursday of the concrete possibility of a terror attack occurring in that country at the hands of people with connections to an extremist group in Syria. A press conference was called in Oslo, Norway on Thursday where an announcement was made of a "possible concrete threat" to national security in that country from terrorists related to an extremist ...
Judge says government can access everything in a Gmail account
2014 07 24
All your emails are belong to us. At least that’s what the latest court order from a judge in New York says. The warrant, granted on June 11, states that the government can access all the content and files contained in a Gmail account. Yes, this is a significant blow to privacy. The subject of this specific search relates to a money laundering ...
Scotland Yard Spied on Grieving Families: secret surveillance after police victim shot seven times in head ’by mistake’
2014 07 24
More terror from the ’anti-terror’ brigade. Undercover police gathered evidence on 18 grieving families By Rob Evans and Vikram Dodd | The Guardian Undercover police officers secretly gathered intelligence over two decades on 18 families fighting to get justice from the police, it was revealed on Thursday. The intelligence covering high-profile campaigns was collected between the mid-1980s and 2005, and affected grieving families ...
Air Algerie AH5017 with 116 onboard goes missing for hours, found crashed in Mali
2014 07 24
An Air Algerie flight carrying 110 passengers and six crew members has reportedly crashed in Mali after having disappeared from radar early on Thursday morning between Burkina Faso and Algeria. A French Ministry of Defense official told Fox News that the two French fighter jets located the wreckage of the plane, which had crashed in Mali. An airport official additionally confirmed ...
More News »