Author Topic: "Suicidal" planet spirals towards its star...  (Read 854 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Fr. George

  • formerly "Cleveland"
  • Administrator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 20,234
  • May the Lord bless you and keep you always!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh
"Suicidal" planet spirals towards its star...
« on: August 27, 2009, 12:36:58 PM »
Suicidal planet seems on death spiral into star

By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer – Wed Aug 26, 1:00 pm ET

WASHINGTON – Astronomers have found what appears to be a gigantic suicidal planet.

The odd, fiery planet is so close to its star and so large that it is triggering tremendous plasma tides on the star. Those powerful tides are in turn warping the planet's zippy less-than-a-day orbit around its star.

The result: an ever-closer tango of death, with the planet eventually spiraling into the star.

It's a slow death. The planet WASP-18b has maybe a million years to live, said planet discoverer Coel Hellier, a professor of astrophysics at the Keele University in England. Hellier's report on the suicidal planet is in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.

"It's causing its own destruction by creating these tides," Hellier said.

The star is called WASP-18 and the planet is WASP-18b because of the Wide Angle Search for Planets team that found them.

The planet circles a star that is in the constellation Phoenix and is about 325 light-years away from Earth, which means it is in our galactic neighborhood. A light-year is about 5.8 trillion miles.

The planet is 1.9 million miles from its star, 1/50th of the distance between Earth and the sun, our star. And because of that the temperature is about 3,800 degrees.

Its size — 10 times bigger than Jupiter — and its proximity to its star make it likely to die, Hellier said.

(Click the above link for the rest of the article)
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
Met. Meletios of Nikopolis & Preveza, from his ordination.

Offline scamandrius

  • Crusher of Secrets; House Lannister
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,766
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek in exile
Re: "Suicidal" planet spirals towards its star...
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2009, 02:04:53 PM »
1 million  years before the planet's destruction?  Probably the slowest suicide ever.
I seek the truth by which no man was ever harmed--Marcus Aurelius

Those who do not read  history are doomed to get their facts from Hollywood--Anonymous

What earthly joy remains untouched by grief?--St. John Damascene

Offline mike

  • The Jerk
  • Stratopedarches
  • **************
  • Posts: 22,562
  • Shevchenko - extraordinary poet and top footballer
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Makurian Orthodox
Re: "Suicidal" planet spirals towards its star...
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2009, 02:11:51 PM »
1 million  years before the planet's destruction?  Probably the slowest suicide ever.

Accompanied by the one from The Sorrows of Young Werther.
Hyperdox Herman, Eastern Orthodox Christian News - fb, Eastern Orthodox Christian News - tt

not everything I typed before [insert current date] may reflect my current views on the subject

Offline ozgeorge

  • I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 16,383
  • My plans for retirement.
    • Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia
Re: "Suicidal" planet spirals towards its star...
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2009, 11:48:58 PM »
Size, proximity and even plasma tides are not likely to cause the planet's orbit to decay if its orbit is in a vacuum. It would need to be in contact with something that is going to slow its orbit down (like the Star's atmosphere).
If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.