Sun-like star “eating” a nearby planet

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science_and_environment/10136415.stm

The Hubble Space Telescope has captured evidence of a Sun-like star “eating” a nearby planet.

Astronomers knew that stars were capable of swallowing planets in orbit around them, but this is the first time the event has been “seen” so clearly.

Although the planet was too far away for Hubble to photograph, scientists have created an image of it, based on analysis of the telescope’s data.

The discovery was published in the The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

The researchers say the planet, which is called Wasp-12b, may only have another 10 million years left before it is completely devoured.

It is so close to its star that it completes an orbit in 1.1 Earth days and is superheated to more than 1,500C.

Because of this proximity, the planet’s atmosphere has ballooned to nearly three times the radius of Jupiter and is spilling material on to the star.

Carole Haswell from the UK’s Open University led the research team. She explained: “We see a huge cloud of material around the planet which is escaping and will be captured by the star.”

Hubble’s detection of the cloud enabled scientists to draw conclusions about how it was generated.

Dr Haswell said: “We have identified chemical elements never before seen on planets outside our own Solar System.”

Wasp-12 is a dwarf star located approximately 600 light-years away in the constellation Auriga.

The exoplanet was first discovered by the UK’s Wide Area Search for Planets (Wasp) in 2008.

———-

fascinating stuff..if hubble has seen this why dont we get the real pictures and not cartoons?

401

About these ads

~ by seeker401 on May 31, 2010.

One Response to “Sun-like star “eating” a nearby planet”

  1. hehehe i like cartoons

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 960 other followers

%d bloggers like this: