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Hubble space telescope images confirm a star is eating one of its close-in planets. The planet, called WASP-12b, has only about 10 million years left before the jumbo-sized world, cooking at 2,800 degrees in a tight orbit, is consumed by the star. "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," says observation team leader Carole Haswell of Great Britain's The Open University, in a statement.
Solar physicists at the University of California, Berkeley, have captured for the first time the collision of a comet with the sun. Using instruments aboard NASA's twin STEREO spacecraft, four post-doctoral fellows at UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory were able to track the comet as it approached the sun and estimate an approximate time and place of impact. STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory), launched in 2006, consists of identical spacecraft orbiting the sun, one ahead of Earth and one behind Earth, providing a stereo view of the sun.
Wired Science News for Your Neurons Previous post Next post Video: Kamikaze Comet Dives Into Sun’s Lower Atmosphere * By Betsy Mason Email Author * May 24, 2010 | * 8:03 pm | * Categories: Space * NASA’s twin sun-observing spacecraft tracked a comet further than ever before as it dove into the sun. The video above is a compilation of images from the two STEREO spacecraft that orbit with the Earth, one ahead of the planet and the other behind. The configuration allows for nearly full, continuous coverage of the sun, increasing the chance of witnessing something like the kamikaze comet that they spotted in March.