Scientists find planet almost as hot as our Sun



Scientists have found a hellish world where the “surface” of the planet is over 4,000C – almost as hot as our Sun, the BBC reports.

In part, that’s because KELT-9b’s host star is itself very hot, but also because this alien world resides so close to the furnace.

KELT-9b takes just two days to complete one orbit of the star.

Being so close means the planet cannot exist for very long – the gases in its atmosphere are being blasted with radiation and lost to space.

Researchers say it may look a little like a comet as it circles the star from pole to pole – another strange aspect of this discovery.

News of KELT-9b is reported in the journal Nature. Its highly unusual properties were also presented on Monday to the spring meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Austin, Texas.

The planet is tidally locked to its star, meaning it always presents the same face – just as our Moon never shows its far side to Earth.

This raises the temperature on the “day side” of KELT-9b to over 4,300C – hotter than the surface of the average Red Dwarf star, by far the most common type of star in the Milky Way.

The host star – known by the simple designation of KELT-9 – is radiating so much ultraviolet light that it may completely erode the planet’s atmosphere.

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