Thursday, December 22, 2011

Newly Found Planets are 'Roasted Remains'

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By Jonathan Amos
BBC News
Just a day after announcing the discovery of the first Earth-size planets ever detected outside our Solar System, scientists have confirmed the existence of two even smaller worlds.

     There is something very unusual about these objects, however.

It appears they are the roasted remains of planets that spent a period of time inside the outer layers of their star.

Scientists tell Nature magazine that these worlds are therefore likely to have been much bigger in the past.

Once again, these worlds were identified using data from Nasa's Kepler telescope, which was put in orbit in 2009 with the specific goal of hunting down small planets. . . .

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