Kepler Observes White Dwarf Star Disintegrating Its Planet(s)

An artist’s concept of a minor planet being disintegrated by a white dwarf star. New observations by NASA’s Kepler space telescope have indicated that this indeed takes place around WD 1145+017, a white dwarf located 570 light-years away. Image Credit: CfA/Mark A. Garlick

One of the wonderful things of living in a galaxy […]

The Case of the Helium-Shrouded Exoplanet With the Hydrogen, Comet-Like Tail

An artist’s concept of the vast envelope of atomic hydrogen that envelopes the nearby helium-dominated exoplanet Gliese 436b. The radiation pressure from the planet’s host star causes the gradual escape over time of significant amounts of hydrogen from Gliese 436b’s atmosphere into space, which subsequently forms a large comet-like tail that follows the […]