New planet discovered hotter than most stars

Astronomers from Ohio State University and Vanderbilt University have discovered a planet with a surface temperature hotter than most stars. The planet KELT-9b has a surface temperature of 4600 K, only 1200 degrees K (about 2000 degrees F) cooler than the sun. The planet must have a warm yellow glow.

Astronomers at The Ohio State University and Vanderbilt University have discovered a planet that is so hot, its temperature rivals most stars. Credit: Robert Hurt, NASA/JPL-Caltech

The astronomy team presented their results in the journal Nature and at a presentation at the American Astronomical Society spring meeting (2017). They found the planet, which is 2.8 times more massive than Jupiter, but only as half as dense, to be continually bombarded by stellar radiation from the nearby star. As a result its day side is so hot that molecules such as water, carbon dioxide, and methane can’t form there. It is not known what the night side is like. It is speculated that molecules may be able to form there, but probably only temporarily. The planet is tidally locked to the central star KELT-9, which, at least, shields the night side from the intense radiation.

The environment of this planet is a far cry from the ideal environment God has created for life on Earth. Certainly life as we know it could not exist on a planet such as KELT-9. And considering that its atmosphere is constantly blasted with high levels of ultraviolet radiation it is unlikely a place to find any sort of life.

Reference

  1. A planet hotter than most stars, ScienceDaily, June 5, 2017.

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