Hottest Known Exoplanet is Tearing its Molecules Apart

Hottest Known Exoplanet is Tearing its Molecules Apart

The hottest exoplanet ever found is so hot that it’s tearing molecules in its air, space experts have found.

“Hot Jupiters” are enormous gas giants that circle so near their stars that they are too hot to even think about sustaining life. One such planet, KELT-9b, is an ultrahot Jupiter that dwells 670 light-years from Earth. It weighs around multiple times the mass of Jupiter and flaunts surface temperatures of 7,800 degrees Fahrenheit (4,300 degrees Celsius). This makes KELT-9b the hottest exoplanet so far found. It’s considerably more hottest than certain stars.

Using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, a group of astronomers has discovered that, in all likelihood, the planet is hot to such an extent that atoms in the planet’s environment can’t remain together. The group discovered proof that molecules of hydrogen are destroyed on the planet’s dayside.

Presently, while the planet’s nightside is still very hot, it is cool enough that once the disengaged atoms from the destroyed hydrogen atoms discover their way to the planet’s nightside, they can re-structure. In any case, the atomic reunion doesn’t keep going long, as the particles are tore separated when they stream back to the planet’s dayside.

In another paper clarifying these discoveries, the scientists likewise give proof that KELT-9b isn’t the only planet where atoms being torn separated; it likely occurs on other ultrahot exoplanets also.

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Claude Denni

About the Author: Claude Denni

Claude Denni was born and raised in San Jose. Claude has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade having contributed to several large publications including the Daily Democrat here in Californiar and NPR. As a journalist for Coastal Morning Star, Claude covers national and international developments.

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