Photo: Stars Can Strip Gas Giants Naked



Jupiter-like planets that hug their host stars too tightly could be slowly stripped to their cores by solar winds and strong radiation storms, scientists suggested in April 2009.

Should gas giants undergo this extreme mass loss, they would resemble planet-size comets, because the radiation from their stars would stretch their escaping atmospheres into long, tenuous tails, like the planet seen above in an artist's conception.

Image courtesy ESA, Alfred Vidal-Madjar, NASA


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