NS: Star fattens planet and then devours it

Find out the latest thinking about our universe.
User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 18892
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

NS: Star fattens planet and then devours it

Post by bystander » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:24 pm

Star fattens planet and then devours it
New Scientist - 2010 Feb 24
A JUPITER-LIKE exoplanet is being fattened up by its star ready to be eaten.

Discovered in 2008, WASP-12b is a gas giant that is 1.4 times as massive as Jupiter, but is puffed up to about 1.8 times Jupiter's size. It orbits the host star in 26 hours.

Shu-lin Li of the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics in Beijing, China, and colleagues say that this bloat is caused by the star's gravity, which stirs up the planet's interior, generating heat that expands its gases.

WASP-12b's bloated state means it can barely hold onto its outer atmosphere. This should allow the star to steal matter from the planet, devouring it completely in about 10 million years, the team estimates. "This may sound like a long time, but for astronomers it's nothing," says Li. Earth has been around for more than 4.5 billion years.
(Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature08715)

Planet Unwinds in 'Death March'
Space.com - 2010 Feb 24

Cannibal star is devouring a planet
PhysOrg Astronomy - 2010 Feb 24

biddie67
Science Officer
Posts: 483
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Possum Hollow, NW Florida

STSci: Hubble finds a star that is eating its planet

Post by biddie67 » Thu May 20, 2010 6:36 pm

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.

The planet, called WASP-12b, is so close to its sunlike star that it is superheated to nearly 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit and stretched into a football shape by enormous tidal forces. The atmosphere has ballooned to nearly three times Jupiter's radius and is spilling material onto the star. The planet is 40 percent more massive than Jupiter.

The picture below is described as an artist's concept:
Image

http://www.hubblesite.org/newscenter/ar ... 0/15/full/

User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 18892
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: STSci: Hubble finds a star that is eating its planet

Post by bystander » Thu May 20, 2010 7:31 pm

OMG, I got scooped :wink: I would've put this in Communications, but nice catch. Got a late start today.

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 16351
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: STSci: Hubble finds a star that is eating its planet

Post by neufer » Thu May 20, 2010 7:49 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannibalism_%28zoology%29#Filial_cannibalism wrote:
<<A common form of cannibalism is filial cannibalism where adults eat the young of their own species (sometimes even their own immediate offspring). Classical vertebrate examples include the chimpanzees where groups of adult males have been observed to attack and consume conspecific infants, and cats, elephants, dogs, baboons, bears, lions, and some types of fish, where adult males commonly kill infants when they take over a new harem after replacing the previous dominant males. In agricultural settings, pigs are known to eat their own young, accounting for a sizeable percentage of total piglet deaths. There has been sightings of infanticide in the leopard population.

Particularly in fish, one can discern

* total filial cannibalism, where a parent eats the whole brood

* cases where a parent eats only part, e.g. sand gobies Potamoschistus minutus can eat 40% of their eggs without reducing the outcome of their reproductive efforts.>>
Art Neuendorffer

User avatar
owlice
Guardian of the Codes
Posts: 8355
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 4:18 pm
Location: Washington, DC

Re: STSci: Hubble finds a star that is eating its planet

Post by owlice » Fri May 21, 2010 3:05 am

biddie, very cool! Thank you for posting it!
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

User avatar
orin stepanek
Plutopian
Posts: 5059
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:41 pm
Location: Nebraska

Re: STSci: Hubble finds a star that is eating its planet

Post by orin stepanek » Fri May 21, 2010 9:22 pm

I get these Hubble shots also; from a Hubble news letter on email. really neat!
Orin

Smile today; tomorrow's another day!

Hofi
Ensign
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 5:49 am
Location: Austria

Re: STSci: Hubble finds a star that is eating its planet

Post by Hofi » Sat May 22, 2010 3:51 pm

That's a really great find! But it just prooved the theory built up a few months ago!
Best wishes,
Thomas Hofstätter

http://hidden-space.at.tf