DJ Mix - WASP-12b

The hottest known planet in the Milky Way galaxy may also be its shortest-lived world. The doomed planet is being eaten by its parent star and may only have another 10 million years left before it is completely devoured.

WASP-12b is so close to its sunlike star that it is superheated to nearly 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit and stretched into a football shape by enormous tidal forces. The atmosphere has ballooned to nearly three times Jupiter's radius and is spilling material onto the star. The planet is 40 percent more massive than Jupiter.

This effect of matter exchange between two stellar objects is commonly seen in close binary star systems, but this is the first time it has been seen so clearly for a planet. It's sun, WASP-12, is a yellow dwarf star located approximately 600 light-years away in the winter constellation Auriga.

Images and information credited to NASA/ESA/G. Bacon

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