Dust cloud, tail could explain exoplanet’s odd light pattern

By Ashley Yeager, 12:13 PM November 27, 2013

Exoplanet candidate KIC 12557548 b may be disintegrating, ejecting dust from its surface that creates an opaque cloud that encircles the planet and a cometlike tail that trails it.

Researchers first reported odd observations of the unconfirmed exoplanet, which sits 1,500 light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Cygnus, in 2012. The planet orbits its star in a little more than 15 hours. New Kepler spacecraft data show that for roughly 30 passes in front of its star, the susp...

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