Monday, May 24, 2010

Star with bad dietary choices

Yahoo News posts an article with data from Hubble about a star caught in the act of devouring its' own planet. The planet, WASP-12b, located about 600 light-years from Earth is more than 300 times the size of Earth and is so close to its' primary that it orbits the star in less than 24 hours.

The planet is hellish. The planet's surface temperature is the highest of any planet in the Milky Way -- around 1,500 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Extreme tidal forces have distorted the planet into a football shape. These forces have raised the internal temperature so high that it has ballooned the atmosphere several times larger than Jupiter which the parent star siphons off. This process will probably continue over the next ten million years at which time the star will completely devour the planet.

Thanks to Tim Sayell for the post

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