Scientists Have Discovered a Planet That's as Hot as a Star

Jun 06, 2017

The hottest planet ever discovered has a surface that is nearly as hot as the sun, scientists say.

KELT-9b, a gas giant about 650 light years away from Earth, reaches about 7,770 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, researchers said in a study published in Nature this week. According to the study authors, KELT-9b is so hot because it is very close to its exceptionally hot host star. It takes just two days for the planet, which is about twice the size of Jupiter, to orbit its star.

Researchers discovered the planet in 2014, and found that, apart from its heat, the KELT-9b had an odd makeup. The planet orbits around the poles of its star, rather than its equator, and is tidally locked, meaning it does not spin on its axis.

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