The Ghost of Jupiter Haunts a Dead Star

The Ghost of Jupiter, a spherical nebula cast off by a dying star. NASA/JPL-Caltech/J. Hora (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA) Three recent news stories have come out, all dealing with exoplanets—alien worlds—that have something in common with Jupiter. Part 1 was on a solitary starless exoplanet, Part 2 was about a double of our own Jupiter, and Part 3 was about a planet in a triple-star system. I was going to end it there, but then realized I could do another installment of this increasingly inaccurately named trilogy. So here’s the final chapter, appropriately enough about a planet that’s no longer there. Phil Plait Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!   Thousands of years ago, a star…


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