Around the star WASP-18, astronomers have discovered a huge planet that orbits it in less than a day and that is slowly spiralling inwards. The planet, WASP-18b, is about ten times as massive as Jupiter. It has a temperature of thousands of degrees and is subject to massive tidal forces. The star is also affected by the planet, as it is causing a huge bulge of plasma to extend out for thousands of kilometers. WASP-18b will crash into its parent star in approximately one million years.
August 28, 2009