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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cannibal star is devouring a planet: Astronomers

According to a study released in the British Science journal, "Nature", a star 600 light years from Earth is devouring one of its own planets!! The star/planet , named "Wasp-12b by astronomers, was discovered last year  and scientists believe it , is a "gas giant" with a mass about 40 per cent greater and a radius 79 percent larger than that of Jupiter,  the biggest planet of our Solar System!!!!

WASP-12b takes only 26 hours to travel once around its star, WASP-12, located in the constellation of Auriga. Because its orbit is so fast, astronomers were able to state that WASP-12b is located very near its host star, WASP-12

Source:Agence France-Presse

Here is some additional information concerning WASP12b:

1."WASP 12b is an exoplanet. This means "it is a planet which orbits a star other than our own Sun."
2."WASP-12b orbits  its host star 1/40
th of the distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun Its host star, WASP  heats WASP-12b to record-breaking temperatures; the  planet is being heated  up to temperatures around 2250 °C!!"

3."Planets  approximately the  size of Jupiter orbiting close to their star in other systems are often referred to as "Hot Jupiters."

4."Scientists are at a loss to explain why WASP 1b is so large..Simulations suggest that the intense heat should keep the planet puffed up a bit — but nothing like what's observed. So the discovery team, led by Leslie Hebb (University of St. Andrews, Scotland), suspects that the planet is shrouded in energy-absorbing hazes consisting of titanium and vanadium oxides, among the few things that are solid at those temperatures. The exotic dust might be absorbing enough light and heat to puff out the planet's outer layer."
Hebb and her colleagues explore this possibility  in a paper which appears in the
Astrophysical Journal and which you can download by clicking on the following link:  You need the program Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the file.

Just how common is it  for a star to devour a planet?

According to Dr David Whitehouse
 BBC News Online science editor, who wrote the article,"Star devours planets," which you can read by clicking on the following link:

"Some researchers believe that planet swallowing may be common and may explain why so many stars have enhanced levels of metals in their surface regions. The metals may have come from engulfed planets." It is stated at the website:

"The idea that gravitational forces might pull a planet into its parent star have recently been predicted by computer models."

 "When we look at the observed properties of extrasolar planets, we can see that this has already happened – some extrasolar planet have already fallen into their stars," said Rory Barnes from the University of Washington.

"The computer models can show where planets should line up in a particular star system, but direct observations show that some systems are missing planets close to the stars where models say they should be.
But because the planet is so close to the star, the two bodies begin pulling on each other with increasingly strong gravitational force, misshaping the star's surface with rising tides from its gaseous surface."

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.