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Star on planet violence on the rise

posted by Aaron Cohen   May 20, 2010

A new Hubble discovery was announced today and it’s not for the faint of heart. At least, that is, if you care deeply about mysterious exoplanets 600 light years away.

WASP-12b is orbiting a sun-like yellow dwarf star 600 light-years away and it has such a tight orbit (of only 1.1 days) that it is being roasted to nearly 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit. This superheated state has caused the doomed exoplanet to puff up to nearly twice the size of Jupiter.

WASP-12b is in trouble and there’s no Willis/Affleck/Bay mission planned to save it. That said, it’s going to take about another 10 million years for WASP-12b to be totally eaten, so it has time to cross a few things off its bucket list.

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