33 of the Day: a Rare True Double 33
A planet outside of our solar system is losing its atmosphere, which is dissipating into a giant cloud, according to a new study.GJ 436b is so close to its parent star — 33 times as close as the Earth is to the sun — that its atmosphere is evaporating, creating a large cloud around the planet, said David Ehrenreich, an astrophysicist at the University of Geneva and one of the study’s authors.“What we see is the planet kind of turning into an enormous monster much bigger than its star,” Dr. Ehrenreich said.The star is much fainter than our sun, and the evaporating gases are not swept away. Instead, the star “allows the huge cloud to gather,” Dr. Ehrenreich said. He and his colleagues report their findings in the current issue of the journal Nature.The researchers analyzed ultraviolet observations of the Neptune-mass exoplanet, located 33 light years from Earth. The planet orbits a small red dwarf star in the constellation Leo.
I've no idea why they used two 33's here, unless there is something significant about this planet or the star system.