Topics: Extrasolar planet, Planet, Gas giant Pages: 3 (1186 words) Published: December 17, 2010
The study of planets outside of our immediate solar system has greatly advanced. Through the research efforts of astronomers and scientists they have determined that our galaxy consists of at least 400 worlds, all of which have been found beyond the reach of our sun. They have determined that in addition to our terrestrial and Jovian planets, our galaxy consists of hot Jupiters, pulsar planets, Super-Earths, eccentric planets, hot Neptunes, water worlds, free-floating planets, exo-Earths and Chthonian planets. HD209458b is a hot Jupiter said to be evolving into a chthonian planet. Sometimes hot Jupiters or hot Neptunes live too close to their stars. Once their stars roast these exoplanets and rip at them with their gravity, they might blow the gas completely off them, leaving behind rocky cores scientists have dubbed chthonian planets or evaporated remnant cores. Their proximity to their stars could mean they are covered in lava. (Choi) HD209458b, also called Osiris, was discovered in 1999 via Doppler spectroscopy, and entered the astronomical hall of fame when it passed in front of its parent star and eclipsed it. In 2001 Hubble detected the element sodium in the lower part of the planet’s atmosphere. In 2003 hydrogen was detected in its upper atmosphere. In 2004, oxygen and carbon were detected in the upper atmosphere. Today, HD209458b is considered to be a part of a new class of extrasolar planets proposed, called the chthonian planets, as the cores of these giant planets are primarily comprised of evaporated gas. In the July 10th issue of The Astrophysical Journal it has been reported that the Hubble Space Telescope astronomers have confirmed the existence of a tortured, baked object that they are calling a cometary planet. Now, observations by the new Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) aboard NASA's Hubble suggest that powerful stellar winds are sweeping the castoff material behind the scorched planet and shaping it into a comet-like tail. (HubbleSite)...

Cited: Choi, Charles Q. "Untitled Document." Space.com. Web. 31 October 2010. .
"HubbleSite - NewsCenter - Superhot Planet Likely Possesses Comet-like Tail (07/15/2010) - The Full Story." HubbleSite -- Out of the Ordinary...out of This World. Web. 31 October 2010. .
NASA Release 10-167. NASA Finds Super Hot Planet With Unique Comet-Like Tail." NASA - Home. Web. 31 October 2010. .
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