The hottest summers were recorded this year… of course due to global warming and stuff, but ever thought ‘How hot our Sun will be’? No one ever imagined because the thought itself horrifies us. Hold on, Scientists have discovered the hottest planet in this entire universe till now, hottest than our Sun- “Kelt 9b”.
According to a study published in the journal Nature, the planet – an exoplanet named “KELT-9b” is roughly 3,700 degrees C on the “night” side and 4300 degrees C on the “day” side. KELT-9b is a gas giant located about 650 light years from earth. It orbits a blue star called “KELT 9”, which is almost twice as hot as our sun, travelling around it in just 1.5 Earth days.
Scott Gaudi, a professor of astronomy at Ohio State University said that “KELT-9b is one of the strangest exoplanets I’ve ever seen. The astronomical community is clearly focused on finding Earth-like planets around small, cooler stars like our sun. On the other hand, because KELT-9b’s host star is bigger and hotter than the sun, it complements those efforts and provides a kind of touchstone for understanding how planetary systems form around hot, massive stars.”
Surface temperatures on KELT-9b reach 4,327 Centigrade - more than 1,100 Centigrade than the previous record. The huge gas giant is 650 light years away and is so close to its host stars its orbit takes just a day and a half. KELT-9b lies in the constellation of Cygnus and is hotter than most stars. The exoplanet sports a glowing, comet style tail as it literally evaporates under the ultraviolet radiation from KELT-9 - the host star, which at 9,897 Centigrade is almost twice as hot as our sun. KELT-9b is almost three times bigger than Jupiter. It’s locked to the star by enormous gravitational tidal forces - as the moon is to Earth - but the day side is perpetually blasted by extreme radiation. As a result molecules such as water, carbon dioxide, and methane cannot form.
“KELT-9b radiates so much ultraviolet radiation that it may completely evaporate the planet”, said Keivan Stassun, co-author of the study. Further, he added, “Or, if gas giant planets like KELT-9b possess solid rocky cores as some theories suggest, the planet may be boiled down to a barren rock, like Mercury.”
The team hopes to take a closer look at KELT-9b with the Spitzer and Hubble telescopes to estimate how much longer the hellish planet will survive. Previously the hottest known planet was WASP-33b - 380 light-years away in the constellation of Andromeda which reaches 3,200 Centigrade.
KELT-9b was discovered by astronomers from Ohio State and Vanderbilt university’s using the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT) Northern Observatory (KELT-North) at Winer Observatory in southern Arizona. This telescope provides a low-cost means of planet hunting by using mostly off-the shelf technology (such as a high-end camera lens instead of a mirror to collect light). So whereas a traditional telescope costs millions of dollars to build, the hardware for KELT, of which there are two, runs for less than $75,000.