Source: The Kavli Foundation
Illustration of WASP-12b in orbit about its host star (Credit: ESA/C Carreau)
The class of exotic Jupiter-mass planets that orbit very close to their parent stars were not explicitly expected before their discovery. Now an international group of astrophysicists has determined that a massive planet outside our Solar System is being distorted and destroyed by its host star – a finding that helps explain the unexpectedly large size of the planet, WASP-12b.
It’s a discovery that not only explains what’s happening to WASP-12b; it also means scientists have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to observe how a planet enters this final stage of its life.
The findings were published in the February 25 issue of Nature. (read more)