May 25, 2010
The Hubble space telescope has discovered a planet in our galaxy in the process of being devoured by the star that it orbits.
The doomed planet, dubbed WASP-12b, has the highest known surface temperature of any planet in the Milky Way – around 2,800F (1,500C).
But it could be enveloped by its own parent star over the next ten million years, the paper’s authors have concluded.
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.
This article was posted: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 3:58 am