Astronomers: Jupiter-Sized Planet Slowly Dissolving

CBS News reports that Seth Redfield, assistant professor of astronomy and Adam Jensen, visiting assistant professor of astronomy, have observed a planet the size of Jupiter called HD 189733b, which is about 63 light years from Earth–a virtual next-door neighbor in astronomical terms, that is dissolving, albeit very, very slowly. Redfield and Jensen have documented that HD 189733b, a gas giant, is discharging significant amounts of atomic hydrogen into space. They reported on this phenomenon in a paper titled “A Detection of Ha In An Exoplanetary Exosphere,” will appear in the June 1 issue of The Astrophysical Journal.

The Wesleyan Connection also ran a story about the discovery.