LYNETTE COOK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LYNETTE COOK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Planet ingestion. Artwork of planetary ingestion by the HD 82943 star (upper left) seen from a moon of its planetary system. HD82943 is a nearby Sun- like star in the constellation of Hydra. The two planets detected orbiting this star (inner planet, upper right; outer planet, left of HD 82943) have masses of 1-2 Jupiters, orbiting around the Earth- Sun distance. Giant planets close to their parent star are thought to have migrated inwards from further out. They may reach a stable orbit or end up plunging into their parent star. This event was inferred in 2001 by Garik Israelian et al from the presence of lithium-6 in HD 82943's atmosphere, a non-stellar element from the ingested planet.
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