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PLANET DEVOURED BY STAR


WASHINGTON D.C. – There’s a planet in outer space that is coming to an end thanks to an unlikely source!

The Hubble space telescope has discovered a planet in our galaxy that is in the process of being destroyed by the star it orbits. WASP-12b is the doomed planet and it has the highest known surface temperature of any planet in the Milky Way – around 2800F.

According to a paper, the planet could be devoured by its own parent star over the next ten million years. Researchers noticed the planet was whipped into an elongated shape by gravitational forces using a new instrument called Cosmic Origins Spectograph. It was installed on the Hubble in 2009.

“We see a huge cloud of material around the planet, which is escaping and will be captured by the star. We have identified chemical elements never before seen on planets outside our own solar system,” team leader Carole Haswell of The Open University in Britain said.

Discovered in 2008, WASP-12b is located about 600 light-years from Earth in the Auriga Constellation and is more than 300 times the size of Earth. It also has a mass 40-percent greater than that of Jupiter, the biggest planet in our solar system.

The paper, which was published in the May 10 edition of The Astrophysical Journal Letters, confirms a theoretical paper published in the journal Nature last Friday by Shu-lin Li, an astronomer at Peking University in Beijing.