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extrasolar planet gobbled by parent star

Updated on October 22, 2012

extrasolar planet that is too close

Kepler mission has reported discovery of 2400+ extrasolar planets or planetary candidates around other stars so far. As little as 77 earthlike planets only were discovered by Kepler mission by monitoring a planet’s transit when it passes in front of its star. This results in a small decrease in the brightness of star which is then measured to know the size of the planet. Then, a planet’s orbital distance will be calculated from the period (how long it takes the planet to orbit once around the star). The size of the extrasolar planet is calculated as how much the star lost its light during the transit. There is no hard and fast rule what should be the ideal orbital distance called goldilocks zone to ensure the planet remains habitable and a potential candidate for alien life.

The earth revolves around the sun from150 million km. If this is converted into 1 Astronomical unit (AU), Orrey planet systems which revolve around their sun @ 0.170 to 0.387 AU.

extrasolar planets nearer than Mercury

extrasolar planet gobbled up

Astronomers already reported some extrasolar planets are too close to their star for a comfort and that these extrasolar planets may ultimately pay the price by evaporation. Their atmosphere gets scorched from high energy particle bursts from parent star making the planet loose its atmosphere and eventually disappear. This observation is pathbreaking and explains why so few earthlike planets exist out of so many planetary candidates. Some planets are spiralling into their parent star and may ultimately fall into the flames.

NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope with the help of ultraviolet light examination, found that a star HD 209458 in Pegasus constellation has attained notoriety as it eclipsed the planet that orbits of only 7 million kms from its star. The atmosphere and planetary composition were roasted The high energy wave formed a comet like tail.

This discovery gives enough hints as why many earthlike planets in close proximity to their parent star are not found, as they would have already been scorched. A video link of Hubble telescope fills up all research on extrasolar planet with awe!

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