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Hubble discovers planet being devoured by star

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London Telegraph
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.

An artist's image showing planet WASP-12b which is being eaten by a star.

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.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 3:58 am

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