Galactic gobble: Star swallows planet in one big gulp

This illustration depicts a planet skimming the surface of its star. Astronomers reported on Wednesday their observations of what appears to be a gas giant at least the size of Jupiter being eaten by its star. (K. Miller, R. Hurt/Caltech/IPAC via AP)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — For the first time, scientists have caught a star in the act of swallowing a planet — not just a nibble or bite, but one big gulp.