Another day, another scientific discovery made by astronomers that shows us how little we know, actually, about our Universe. Even though not so long ago, humanity wasn’t completely sure about the existence of exoplanets, until now we’ve found thousands of them and they are becoming more weirder with every discovery.
The latest finding is the exoplanet dubbed KELT-9b and it’s located 670 light-years away from us. And yes, it defies pretty much our general knowledge about planets since it’s hotter than most stars. It has an incredible temperature at its surface of 7,800 degrees Fahrenheit (4,300 degrees Celsius).
It’s the hottest planet ever discovered
Astronomers never discovered a planet hotter than KELT-9b, and the weirdness of this exoplanet doesn’t stop here. It’s three times the mass of Jupiter, and the insanely high temperatures are making hydrogen molecules from its atmosphere to be torn apart.
Megan Mansfield is the lead author of the paper where findings mentioned above have been revealed, and he spoke about the phenomenon of the hydrogen molecules being destroyed by the intense heat:
This kind of planet is so extreme in temperature, it is a bit separate from a lot of other exoplanets,
There are some other hot Jupiters and ultra-hot Jupiters that are not quite as hot but still warm enough that this effect should be taking place.
Scientists have been examining KELT-9b by using data gathered by the NASA’s Spitzer space telescope. Thus they were able to understand what happens in the atmosphere of the exoplanet, including the destruction of the hydrogen molecules.
Need to find out even weirder cosmic news? Then read this: KELT-9b is extremely close to its host star, as you already might have guessed. So close that it orbits the star in just a little bit more time than one Earth day.
If some people say that Venus is like a vision of Hell because of its high temperatures, try to guess how the surface of KELT-9b looks like.