Hottest Exoplanet Ever Discovered

Posted: Jun 6 2017, 3:45am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

Hottest Exoplanet Ever Discovered
Artist's illustration of star KELT-9 and its super-heated planet KELT-9b. Credit: Robert Hurt / NASA/JPL-Caltech
  • KELT-9 is hottest exoplanet ever discovered

The extreme alien planet, hotter than most stars, has been discovered by a group of astronomers.

A team of researchers found an exoplanet in outer space that is among the hottest ever found in the known universe. To visualize this exoplanet, imagine the planet Jupiter going around our sun every day and a half. The huge alien world was labeled as KELT-9. It is to be found 650 light years from our own planet in the constellation Cygnus.

During the day, this hottest of exoplanets has a temperature reaching 7800 degrees Fahrenheit. That is only 2000 degrees Fahrenheit less than the temperature of our sun.

The radiation emanating from the star around which this exoplanet revolves may be so great that the exoplanet is slowly but steadily evaporating into nothingness. That is why it has a glowing gaseous tail.

This hottest exoplanet is 2.8 times the size of Jupiter. Its atmosphere has literally been nebulized by the irradiation. However it is half as dense as Jupiter. It is locked in a tidal manner with its star. Thus the day side of the exoplanet receives a lot of radiation. This hottest exoplanet is unlike any other that the scientists and astronomers have ever seen.

The main reason why this exoplanet is so hot is that the star it orbits is two times as large as our sun and has a temperature two times as hot as our sun. The evaporation of this hottest exoplanet is imminent if this situation remains constant.

It may in fact be heated to a crisp solid rock like the planet Mercury has been by our sun. In a billion years, the star will become a red giant. Thus over the long haul, the prospects for life on this hottest exoplanet do not look very good.

While most of the research up until now had been regarding exoplanets that were earth-like and thus inhabitable. Yet now such exoplanets that show extreme temperatures and cannot possibly be inhabited by life forms are also being taken into consideration.

According to, they show us how planets form around extremely hot stars. The evolution of such exoplanets and how they undergo disintegration is what is at stake here.

The astronomers found KELT-9 by sheer serendipity. Using two telescopes, they found the planet three years ago. The fact which was hard to digest was that this alien world was hotter than most stars. Yet that is the way reality works. Truth is after all stranger than fiction.

This discovery is described in a paper titled "A giant planet undergoing extreme-ultraviolet irradiation by its hot massive-star host" by an international research team led by astronomers at Ohio State and Vanderbilt universities. This paper is published in the scientific journal Nature.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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