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Star attacks planet with radiation


Washington : A nearby star is bombarding its companion planet with a barrage of X-rays, hundred thousand times more intense than the earth receives from the Sun, a NASA discovery says.

This radiation from star CoRoT-2a is stripping about five million tonnes of matter from the planet CoRoT-2b every second, suggests data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope.

CoRoT-2b has a mass about thrice that of Jupiter and 1,000 times that of Earth.

It orbits its parent star at a distance roughly 10 times more than that between the Earth and the Moon, the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics reports.

CoRoT-2 and CoRoT-2b — so named because the French Space Agency’s Convection, Rotation and planetary Transits (CoRoT) satellite discovered them in 2008 — is a relatively nearby neighbour of the Solar System at a distance of 880 light years, according to a NASA statement.

“This planet is being absolutely fried by its star,” says study co-author Sebastian Schroeter, University of Hamburg Germany. “What may be even stranger is that this planet may be affecting the behaviour of the star that is blasting it.”

According to optical and X-ray data, the CoRoT-2 system is estimated to be between about 100 million and 300 million years old, meaning that the star is fully formed.