In the Fall of 2009, astronomers found an exoplanet that seemed to be similar to Earth, orbiting a different sun. However, now they have discovered the orbit of the exoplanet continues to change because of its changing tides; the tides are changing due to its continuous loss of mass. The surface of the exoplanet is so hot that it is merely evaporating.
This would be a fantastic article from CNN.com to use in an Astronomy, Physics, or Earth Science class in a current events section or when discussing orbits.
Here are three of the articles from September/October 2009 when the exoplanet was first being monitored:
- Earth-like planet Corot-7b found outside solar system, by Mark Henderson
- COROT-7b: Earth-like planet discovered outside solar system, by Lucy Cockcroft
- Hellish Exoplanet Rains Hot Pebbles, Has Lava Oceans, by Ker Than