Hottest Planet In The Universe Discovered, Hotter Than Most Stars

First Posted: Jun 06, 2017 04:38 AM EDT

Scientists discovered an exoplanet that is considered the hottest planet ever. It is known as KELT-9b and has a surface hotter than most stars.

Kelt-9b is about twice the size of Jupiter and has temperatures of about 4,600 Kelvin (over 4,300 degrees Celsius) compared to the Sun that has a temperature of about 5,800 Kelvin.

The discovered planet travels around its star called KELT-9 in just one and half days. KELT-9 is about 650 light-years away, according to Science Alert.

The discovery was published in Nature. It was led by astronomer B. Scott Gaudi from the Ohio State University and other colleagues. The scientists have used the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT) to find hotter and brighter stars with more extreme planets.

As noted by New Scientist, Gaudi said that this is a race to the bottom. He means finding the smallest planets around the smallest stars because those are the ones that might be habitable. "What our collaboration likes to say is that there's room at the top."

The team detected KELT-9b suffering from intense heat and they were surprised that it exists. Gaudi said that it is a planet by any of the typical definitions based on mass. On the other hand, its atmosphere is nearly certainly unlike any other planet they have ever seen just because of the temperature of its day side.

Meanwhile, Alan Duffy, the astronomer from Swinburne University and who was not involved in the study, said he was genuinely surprised to see this planet. He explained that once there was very massive, very bright star, the force of its radiation is so intense that it can blast the material away from around it. He further explained that there is just not a lot of gas and dust left to form these planets.

Likewise, astronomer Jonti Horner from the University of Southern Queensland said that this planet could be hotter than at least 80 percent of all known stars. He described it as mind-blowing. He further said that it is essentially skimming the surface of its star, and the star itself is much more luminous and much hotter than the Sun. He added that this makes this planet the hottest one they have found to date by quite along the margin, by more than a thousand degrees.

The researchers are now planning to get a better look at KELT-9b using other telescopes. These include NASA's James Webb Space Telescope that will be launched next year. 

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