News Release Archive:

News Release 290 of 1051

July 15, 2010 09:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2010-21

Superhot Planet Likely Possesses Comet-like Tail


Image: Artist's Concept of Exoplanet with Comet-like Tail

Artist's Concept of Exoplanet with Comet-like TailSTScI-PRC2010-21 Artist's Concept

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This artist's illustration shows a view of the gas giant planet HD 209458b, as seen from the surface of a hypothetical nearby companion object. The planet is orbiting so close to its sunlike star that its heated atmosphere is escaping into space. Spectroscopic observations by the new Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) aboard the Hubble Space Telescope suggest that powerful stellar winds are sweeping the castoff material behind the scorched planet and shaping it into a comet-like tail.

Image Type: Artwork

Artwork Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)

Science Credit: J. Linsky (University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo.)