Connect with us

News

In Just Three Million Years, this Hot Jupiter is Destined to Collide with its Star

In 2008, astronomers from the SuperWASP survey made a groundbreaking discovery when they spotted WASP-12b as it transited in front of its star. This exoplanet, part of a new class known as Hot Jupiters, was the first of its kind observed to orbit so closely to its parent star that it became deformed. Subsequent observations indicated that WASP-12b is on a collision course with its star, with estimates suggesting it will crash into it in about ten million years. However, a recent study by astronomers with The Asiago Search for Transit Timing Variations of Exoplanets (TASTE) project has refined this estimate, indicating that the doomed planet will meet its end in just three million years.

The study, published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, presents new spectral data from the La Silla Observatory combined with 12 years of unpublished transit light curves and archival data. This data confirms earlier observations suggesting that WASP-12b is rapidly undergoing tidal dissipation and will eventually be consumed by its star. The research is part of a collaborative effort involving astronomers and astrophysicists from the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF), CISAS, and multiple Italian universities and observatories.

WASP-12b was discovered by the Wide Angle Search for Planets (WASP) consortium, an international effort that revolutionized exoplanet studies. The discovery of Hot Jupiters like WASP-12b challenged prevailing theories on planet formation and evolution, highlighting the diversity of planetary systems in the universe. As Pietro Leonardi, lead author of the study, explained, this discovery forced scientists to reevaluate their assumptions about exoplanets and planetary systems.

The extreme nature of WASP-12b makes it a unique case for studying tidal decay and star-planet interactions. The planet’s close proximity to its host star, intense gravitational forces, and changing orbit present an ideal laboratory for exploring these phenomena. The latest observations suggest that WASP-12b’s orbit is decaying rapidly, with the planet expected to collide with its star in just three million years.

As the field of exoplanet studies continues to grow, the study of worlds beyond our Solar System offers valuable insights into planetary formation, evolution, and the potential for life elsewhere in the universe. The ongoing exploration of exoplanets like WASP-12b provides valuable data for further research and a deeper understanding of the cosmic tapestry that surrounds us.

With each new discovery, astronomers inch closer to unraveling the mysteries of the cosmos and gaining a deeper appreciation for the complexity and diversity of planetary systems. The doomed fate of WASP-12b serves as a potent reminder of the dynamic and ever-changing nature of the universe, where even giant gas planets can meet their end in a fiery collision with their parent star.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Forest Lawn Drive now free of RV encampment and parking

Nancy Sexton was thrilled when city crews cleared out more than 50 RVs in December that had been parked near her business for months, blocking parking spots and leaving behind trash and waste on Forest Lawn Drive.

Then she realized the long stretch of road near Barham Boulevard in the Hollywood Hills was suddenly off limits for not just parked RVs, but all parked vehicles. Much of the curb was painted red. No parking signs lined the sidewalk.

“It’s a dumb decision,” said Sexton, who owns the Muse Rooms, which offers leased office spaces. “It’s frustrating.”

The more than 50 RVs, which had been stationed along the winding road for months as a semi-permanent living encampment, were removed in December as part of the city’s operation known as Inside Safe. One goal of the program, which is part of Mayor Karen Bass’ initiative to bring people living on the streets indoors, is to end the cycle of homeless encampments being cleared by the city only to return a few weeks later.

But days after the RVs were removed, Sexton said, the curb was painted red and parking was limited. The new red zone is about a quarter mile long, running between Warner Bros. Studios’ Gate 9 entrance and North Coyote Canyon Drive.

The areas that do allow parking, meanwhile, have two-hour limits.

City officials also said the decision to restrict parking was done out of fire safety concerns, not to keep the RVs from resettling along the road. Sexton has her doubts.

The lack of parking along the street suddenly imposed a new, unexpected expense on her clients, prompting some to look elsewhere. The red curb has also become an irritation for some students and workers at the New York Film Academy and businesses nearby.

A road with RVs lining its right side.

RVs are parked on Forest Lawn Drive on June 27, 2023, in Burbank.

(David McNew/Getty Images)

Since the no-parking signs went up, Sexton said, she’s lost two regular members and two potential clients. All of them had aired concern about the lack of street parking and the added expense of paying $12 a day at the parking structure on site.

The parking fee, Sexton said, doubled the monthly costs for some members.

“I didn’t know how much of a problem it was going to be until there were people saying, ‘I can’t pay $12 a day,’ ” she said. “I’m really feeling it now.”

The situation highlights some of the unintended results as city officials look to address homelessness and the concerns of businesses and homeowners affected by makeshift encampments, whether they involve tents, vehicles, or both.

RV encampments have sprung up across the city amid a housing crisis that has left many people priced out of permanent homes. Local officials have looked for ways to address the issue, including new regulations that have targeted overnight RV parking.

According to the mayor’s office, the Inside Safe program has addressed 39 encampments so far, moving more than 2,400 people into interim housing and an additional 440 into permanent housing since December 2022.

Bass spokesperson Zach Seidl said the RVs that were removed from Forest Lawn Drive were themselves causing parking issues in the area, as well as raising other significant safety and public health concerns.

Members of the surrounding community have said removing the RVs “has helped on all three fronts,” Seidl said in a statement. “This operation has saved lives.

Stella Stahl, spokesperson for Councilmember Nithya Raman, said the city has helped many of the RV residents along Forest Lawn Drive to find housing indoors.

In a statement, Stahl credited the decision to limit parking to a request by the Los Angeles Fire Department, which called the area a “high fire severity zone.” A 2019 brush fire in the area burned more than 30 acres and threatened homes and businesses.

In a Sept. 19, 2023, letter, LAFD Assistant Chief Dean Zipperman asked the city Department of Transportation to install “Tow Away No Stopping Any Time” restrictions on the road due to the stopped and parked vehicles there.

To avoid the hassle of looking for parking, cinematography students Sanchin Vinay, Yifan Xiang, and Davide Picci carpool to their classes at the New York Film Academy, which shares a building with the Muse Rooms. Eliminating the RVs has opened some spots to them, although Picci said they’d been able to find spaces on the street before — “really far down.”

A couch on a sidewalk near an RV.

The curb along Forest Lawn Drive, where someone has left a couch.

(Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

Sometimes they pay the $12 for the daily parking to avoid being late for class. Carpooling helps cushion the cost.

Leslie Bates, a film production instructor, said she heard of students and faculty members having “volatile” interactions with the RV residents.

Now that the RVs have

Continue Reading

Featured

News6 hours ago

Forest Lawn Drive now free of RV encampment and parking

Nancy Sexton was thrilled when city crews cleared out more than 50 RVs in December that had been parked near...

News7 hours ago

Alaska Ambler Road Project Denied by Interior Department

The decision by the Interior Department to reject the Ambler Road Project in Alaska is a significant win for environmentalists...

News9 hours ago

House speaker receives additional request from GOP member to resign or be ousted

House Speaker Faces New Call by Another Republican to Step Down or Face Removal House Speaker Johnson says he’s not...

News10 hours ago

NASA is reevaluating the Mars Sample Return Mission as current plans face setbacks

Spaceflight is not the easiest of enterprises, and NASA has recently announced a change in plans for the Mars Sample...

News11 hours ago

View Park-Windsor Hills experiences a 2.8 magnitude earthquake

On Tuesday at 8:19 a.m. Pacific time, a magnitude 2.8 earthquake rattled the View Park-Windsor Hills neighborhood in Los Angeles,...

News13 hours ago

Some Rioters Already Freed as Supreme Court Reviews Jan. 6 Charge

Follow live coverage of the Jan. 6 obstruction case at the Supreme Court. The review of an obstruction law by...

Entertainment13 hours ago

Caitlin Clark’s Prada ensemble at WNBA draft impressed boyfriend Connor McCaffery

Caitlin Clark made a statement at the 2024 WNBA Draft that went beyond her incredible basketball skills. The young athlete,...

News16 hours ago

Renowned Physicist Peter Higgs Passes Away at 94

It is with a heavy heart that we report the passing of Professor Peter Higgs at the age of 94....

News17 hours ago

Judge rules that Los Angeles officials manipulated records during homeless camp cleanups

A federal judge has found that Los Angeles city officials altered evidence to support the city’s defense against allegations that...

News18 hours ago

Fire Causes Partial Collapse of Historic Old Stock Exchange Building in Copenhagen

Copenhagen’s Old Stock Exchange Building, also known as Borsen, is a historic landmark in the city that has stood for...

Advertisement

Facebook

Trending