COROT-12 > WASP-12b > COROT-7  
WASP-12b in Planets from Hell



Played by

Anthony Vargas


Butchered by a pickaxe, ripped by Dane Boedigheimer and The Sun's hands

First Appearance

Tough Enough as WASP-12b

WASP-12b is an extrasolar planet orbiting the star WASP-12, discovered by the SuperWASP planetary transit survey. Its discovery was announced on April 1, 2008.[1] Due to its extremely close orbit to its star, it has one of the lowest densities for exoplanets ('inflated' by the flux of energy from the star). The planet takes only a little over a day to orbit the star, in contrast to 365 days for the Earth to orbit the Sun. Its distance from the star (approximately 2,115,000 miles) is only 1/44 the Earth’s distance from the Sun, with an eccentricity the same as Jupiter's. On 3 December 2013, scientists working with the Hubble Space Telescope reported detecting water in the atmosphere of the exoplanet.[2][3]

In July, 2014, NASA announced finding very dry atmospheres on three exoplanets (HD 189733b, HD 209458b, WASP-12b) orbiting sun-like stars.[4]

Characteristics Edit

File:WASP-12b a Hot, Carbon-Rich Planet.jpg

The planet is so close to WASP-12 that the star's tidal forces are distorting it into an egg shape and pulling away its atmosphere at a rate of about 10−7 Template:Jupiter mass (about 189 quadrillion tonnes) per year.[5] The so-called "tidal heating", and the proximity of the planet to its star, combine to bring the surface temperature to more than Template:Convert.

On May 20, 2010, the Hubble Space Telescope spotted WASP-12b being "consumed" by its star. Scientists had been aware that stars could consume planets; however, this was the first time such an event had been observed so clearly. NASA has estimated that the planet has 10 million years left of its life.[6]

The Hubble Space Telescope observed the planet by using its Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS). The observations have confirmed predictions published in Nature in February 2009 by Peking University's Shu-lin Li. The planet's atmosphere has ballooned to be nearly three times the radius of Jupiter, while the planet itself sometimes has 40% more mass than Jupiter.

Carbon contentEdit

Recent evidence indicates that WASP-12b has an enhanced carbon-to-oxygen ratio, significantly higher than that of the Sun, indicating that it is a carbon-rich gas giant. The C/O ratio compatible with observations is about 1, while the solar value is 0.54. The C/O ratios suggest that carbon-rich planets may have formed in the star system.[7] One of the researchers behind that study commented that "with more carbon than oxygen, you would get rocks of pure carbon, such as diamond or graphite".[8]

The published study states: "Although carbon-rich giant planets like WASP-12b have not been observed, theory predicts myriad compositions for carbon-dominated solid planets. Terrestrial-sized carbon planets, for instance, could be dominated by graphite or diamond interiors, as opposed to the silicate composition of Earth."[7] These remarks have led the media to pick up on the story,[9] some even calling WASP-12b a "diamond planet".[10]

The carbon content of the planet is located within its atmosphere, in the form of carbon monoxide and methane. The study appears in the journal Nature.[11]

Candidate satellite Edit

Russian astronomers studying a curve of change of shine of the planet observed splashes of light indicative of an extrasolar moon orbiting the planet.[12]

See also Edit

References Edit

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  2. Template:Cite web
  3. Template:Cite journal
  4. Template:Cite web
  5. Template:Cite journal
  6. Hubble Finds a Star Eating a Planet 2010-05-20. Retrieved on 2010-12-10.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Template:Cite journal
  8. Template:Cite web
  9. Template:Cite web
  10. Template:Cite news
  11. Template:Cite news
  12. Российские астрономы впервые открыли луну возле экзопланеты (in Russian) - "Studying of a curve of change of shine of WASP-12b has brought to the Russian astronomers unusual result: regular splashes were found out.<...> Though stains on a star surface also can cause similar changes of shine, observable splashes are very similar on duration, a profile and amplitude that testifies for benefit of exomoon existence."

External links Edit



Voice ActorsEdit

  • Raul Ruiz (UK; eighteenth season onwards)
  • Anthony Vargas (US; eighteenth season onwards)


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