September 17, 2011
X-rays from the star evaporates planet
Recent research shows that a planet discovered in 2008 is now being evaporated by the X-rays from the star which it is orbiting. First thing that is interesting about it is, although the evaporation is at a rate of 5000,000 ton/s, which is seemingly a very huge amount in a very short time, it is still almost neglectable for the planet, which has three times the mass of Jupiter. "A loss of just 0.073 Jupiter masses per billion years" leads to a conclusion that "Complete evaporation would take longer than the star's lifetime". Another thing that might interests people is that the planet itself can somehow be responsible for maintaining the star's radioactivity at such a high level by orbiting the star at a relatively short distance, which "may be speeding up the star's rotation" and thus animating its magnetic field. A supporting evidence is that a companion star of this star without such a planet doesn't keep up its radioactivity, although the two of them should have the same initial conditions.
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Posted by wangrt at September 17, 2011 03:33 PM