A team of scientists recently presented their discovery of a new Jupiter-like planet, one that is so hot, that current observations point to its possible evaporation. This scorching exoplanet, called ELT-9b, was also noted to have an almost comet-like tail caused by this same process.
A paper with the research results is available in the journal Nature.
This Scorching Exoplanet Comes With Its Series of Surprises
Observations show that KELT-9b may just well be the hottest exoplanet discovered until now. Temperatures on one of the sides of this planet can reach up to 7,820 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the study team. This is hotter than the surface temperatures of most dwarf planets in the Milky Way Galaxy and only 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than on the Sun’s surface.
KELT-9b could be registering these scorching values on its “day side”. The exoplanet was noted to be ‘tidally locked’ which means that it is always showing the same part to the sun. As one side of the planet is locked in a perpetual night, the other is continuously heated up by its host star.
“It’s so hot that we think that there’s no molecules that can live on the day side of this planet. Its day side would be very bright orange. Its night side would be very dark red,” states Scott Gaudi.
Part of the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, Gaudi and his team released the new study on KELT-9b.
This scorching exoplanet was located some 650 light-years away from our planet and is orbiting a blue star. KELT-9b is about three times more massive than Jupiter and around twice as hot as the Sun. Its orbiting period around its own sun is of only 1.5 Earth days.
The study team points out that KELT-9b is probably losing its atmosphere at a very high rate. This is ‘puffing out’ because of the radiation emitted by the blue star. Although the exoplanet is more massive than Jupiter, it is also only half as dense, according to research.
The team also believes that this increased process may actually determine the exoplanet’s complete evaporation. They consider that KELT-9b may be “boiled down” and stripped to its barren core if it has one.
So the study team will continue observing this scorching exoplanet as they try to determine its faith and possible outcomes of its evaporating atmosphere.
Image Source: Pixabay
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