New "Deep Fried" Planets Found—Survivors of Star Death
May be first known case of planets influencing star evolution, experts say.
The planetary pair, discovered using NASA's Kepler space telescope, are about 0.76 and 0.87 times Earth's radius, making the alien worlds the smallest planets detected so far around an active star, other than our sun.
But the planets didn't start small—astronomers think the worlds were once gas giants, akin to Jupiter or Saturn, that were stripped down after being swallowed by their swollen, aging parent.
(Related: "How Planets Can Survive a Supernova.")
News of the "deep fried" duo comes hot on the heels of the announcement of the first Earth-size planets found by the Kepler team.
Just yesterday scientists announced the discovery of Kepler-20e and Kepler-20f, two planets that are 0.87 and 1.03 times Earth's radius, respectively.
There are some similarities between