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It's a slow death. The planet WASP-18b has maybe a million years to live, said planet discoverer Coel Hellier, a professor of astrophysics at the Keele University in England. Hellier's report on the suicidal planet is in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.
"It's causing its own destruction by creating these tides," Hellier said.
The star is called WASP-18 and the planet is WASP-18b because of the Wide Angle Search for Planets team that found them.
The planet circles a star that is in the constellation Phoenix and is about 325 light-years away from Earth, which means it is in our galactic neighborhood. A light-year is about 5.8 trillion miles.
The planet is 1.9 million miles from its star, 1/50th of the distance between Earth and the sun, our star. And because of that the temperature is about 3,800 degrees.
Its size — 10 times bigger than Jupiter — and its proximity to its star make it likely to die,
Originally posted by ChemBreather
S&F for sharing..
I keep waiting for pictures of stars beeing Born actually !
[edit on 27/8/2009 by ChemBreather]
Edge-on Protoplanetary Disk In The Orion Nebula
Target Name: Orion Nebula
Spacecraft: Hubble Space Telescope
Instrument: Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2
Produced by: NASA
Copyright: NASA Copyright Free Policy
Cross Reference: STScI-PRC95-45c
Date Released: 20 November 1995
Resembling an interstellar Frisbee, this is a disk of dust seen edge-on around a newborn star in the Orion nebula, located 1,500 light-years away. Because the disk is edge-on, the star is largely hidden inside, in this striking Hubble Space Telescope picture. The disk may be an embryonic planetary system in the making. Our solar system probably formed out of just such a disk 4.5 billion years ago. At 17 times the diameter of our own solar system, this disk is the largest of several recently discovered in the Orion nebula.
The left image is a three-color composite, taken in blue, green, and red emission lines from glowing gas in the nebula. The right image was taken through a different filter, which blocks any bright spectral emission lines from the nebula, and hence the disk itself is less distinctly silhouetted against the background. However, clearly visible in this image are nebulosities above and below the plane of the disk; these betray the presence of the otherwise invisible central star, which cannot be seen directly due to dust in the edge-on disk.
The images were taken between January 1994 and March 1995, and a study of their characteristics has been submitted for publication to the Astronomical Journal.
Credit: Mark McCaughrean (Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy), C. Robert O'Dell (Rice University), and NASA