Thursday, December 23, 2010

First Carbon - Rich Planet

Astronomers have discovered a huge searing-hot planet orbiting another star is loaded with an unusual amount of carbon! The planet name is WASP - 12b. It is the first carbon - rich planet astronomers ever observed. It's discovered by using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
"A carbon - dominated terrestrial world could have lots of pure carbon rocks, like diamond or graphite, as well as carbon compounds like tar." said Joseph Harrington of the University of Central Florida, in Orlando, principal of the research. More about this topic on

This artist's concept shows the searing-hot gas planet WASP-12b (orange orb) and its star. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech