New Planet Expected to Crash and Burn
It defies laws of physics
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2009 10:44 AM CDT
WASP-18b is about 10 times the size of Jupiter, pictured, and one of more than 300 known "exoplanets" orbiting distant stars.   (©thebadastronomer)

(Newser) – Scientists in the UK have discovered a planet that defies the laws of physics, the Independent reports. WASP-18b, which is orbiting a star 1,000 light years from Earth, is so big and close to the sun that it should be pulled toward it. "The spin of the star is slower than the orbit of the planet, so the star should be spinning up, and the planet spiraling in," a St. Andrews professor said.

The "exoplanet," which is 10 times the size of Jupiter, is at least a billion years old and should crash into its star in the next half-million. "This is another bizarre planet discovery," the professor said. Temperatures on WASP-18b exceed 3,800 degrees Fahrenheit. If you could visit, the sky would be filled with clouds of diamonds and sapphires created by the heat.