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More Images of CoRoT-2a
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X-ray and Optical Images of CoRoT-2A
A nearby star is pummeling a companion planet with a barrage of X-rays a hundred thousand times more intense than the Earth receives from the Sun. New data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope suggest that high-energy radiation is evaporating about 5 million tons of matter from the planet every second. This result gives insight into the difficult survival path for some planets. This sequence shows images of a nearby star named CoRoT-2a. The composite image contains X-rays from Chandra (purple) of CoRoT-2a along with optical and infrared data of the field of view in which the star is found. Not seen in these images -- but still detectable in the data -- is a planet known as CoRoT-2b in an extremely close orbit around the star. The Chandra data indicate that the planet is being blasted by X-rays with such intensity that some 5 million tons of material are being eroded from CoRoT-2a every second.
(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ of Hamburg/S.Schröter et al; Optical: NASA/NSF/IPAC-Caltech/UMass/2MASS, UNC/CTIO/PROMPT; Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)
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Illustration of CoRoT-2A System
This artist's representation shows the CoRoT-2 system, which is found about 880 light years from Earth. The system, which is estimated to be between 100 and 300 million years old, contains a star and a planet in close orbit around it. The separation between the star and the planet is only three percent of the distance between the Earth and the Sun, causing some exotic effects not seen in our solar system. The illustration shows the material, in blue, being stripped off the planet as X-rays from the star pummel the planet.
(Credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

CoRoT-2a with Scale Bar
(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ of Hamburg/S.Schröter et al; Optical: NASA/NSF/IPAC-Caltech/UMass/2MASS, UNC/CTIO/PROMPT; Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss

Return to CoRoT-2a (September 13, 2011)