SpaceJibe

December 5, 2008

Star Caught in Act of Gobbling Up Planet

Filed under: Exoplanets, Supernova — bferrari @ 12:52 pm

An artists impression of a red supergiant engulfing a Jupiter-like planet as it expands. (NASA)

An artist's impression of a red supergiant engulfing a Jupiter-like planet as it expands. (NASA)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A planet outside of the solar system has been discovered orbiting a dying, puffed-up star called a red giant.

The finding could help astronomers learn more about the fate of our solar system.

The newly discovered exoplanet is nearly six times the mass of Jupiter and orbits the red giant star HD 102272, which is located 1,200 light-years away in the constellation Leo. To date, about 20 red giants are known to support planets.

The researchers suspect another world is orbiting farther out in the system. If confirmed, the system would be the first red giant star known to support more than one planet.

Small and medium-sized stars like our sun become red giants when they exhaust all of their hydrogen fuel near the end of their lives.

The stars’ cores contract and begin to burn helium, while their outer shells balloon up to 100 times their original size. When our sun does that, Earth and other planets will be vaporized.

The story continues here: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,459812,00.html?sPage=fnc/scitech/space

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: