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Star "Eating" Superhot Planet's Atmosphere

One of the hottest known planets outside our solar system is slowly being "eaten" by its parent star, astronomers report.
First described in 2008, the extrasolar planet - or exoplanet - WASP-12b is a Jupiter-like world that orbits its host star so tightly a year lasts just 26 hours.
This closeness means that a combination of heat from the star and from a gravitational tug-of-war called tidal heating brings the surface temperature to more than 4,700 degrees Fahrenheit (2,600 degrees Celsius).

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Title: WASP-12b: The hottest transiting planet yet discovered
Authors: L. Hebb, A. Collier-Cameron, B. Loeillet, D. Pollacco, G.Hébrard, R.A. Street, F. Bouchy, H.C. Stempels, C. Moutou, E. Simpson, S. Udry, Y.C. Yoshi, R.G. West, I.Skillen, D.M. Wilson, I. McDonald, N.P. Gibson, the SuperWasp Consortium
(Version v2)

We report on the discovery of WASP-12b, a new transiting extrasolar planet with R_pl=1.79 ± 0.09 R_J and M_pl=1.41 ± 0.1 M_J. The planet and host star properties were derived from a Monte Carlo Markov Chain analysis of the transit photometry and radial velocity data. Furthermore, by comparing the stellar spectrum with theoretical spectra and stellar evolution models, we determined that the host star is a super-solar metallicity ([M/H]=0.3^{+0.05}_{-0.15}), late-F (T_eff=6300^{+200}_{-100} K) star which is evolving off the zero age main sequence. The planet has an equilibrium temperature of T_eq=2516 K caused by its very short period orbit (P=1.09 days) around the hot, 12th magnitude host star. WASP-12b has the largest radius of any transiting planet yet detected. It is also the most heavily irradiated and the shortest period planet in the literature.

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A planet called WASP-12b is the hottest planet ever discovered and orbits its star faster and closer in than any other known world.

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The hottest planet ever found is a sizzling 2250 °C as hot as some stars. The find could challenge models of how close planets can sidle up to their host stars.
The new planet, known as WASP-12b, is 1.5 times as massive as Jupiter. Incredibly, it takes just over a day to circle its host star, orbiting at 1/40th the distance between the Earth and the Sun. The tight embrace heats WASP-12b to an estimated 2250 °Celsius about half as hot as the surface of the Sun, and as hot as some stars.

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Astronomers detect exoplanet orbiting closer to its parent star than any other known planet
Of the more than 300 planets found beyond the solar system, none lies closer to its parent star than the recently detected WASP-12b. Residing at just one-eighteenth the average distance that Mercury the solar systems innermost planet orbits the sun, the sizzling planet is both the hottest planet known and the fattest.

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An international team of astronomers has found 10 new "extra solar" planets, planets that orbit stars other than our sun.
The team used a system of robotic cameras that yield a great deal of information about these other worlds, some of which are quite exotic. The system is expected to revolutionize scientific understanding of how planets form.
Two participating astronomers from the U.S. are Rachel Street and Tim Lister. Street is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara and the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network (LCOGTN) located in Santa Barbara. Lister is a project scientist with LCOGTN.

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