Astronomers discover hottest exoplanet, Kelt-9b


New Delhi: After a decade of searching and verification, a research team revealed a new exoplanet, and you could say it’s coming in hot. The orb is the hottest giant exoplanet ever found, according to a study published today in Nature. “KELT-9b”.

The astronomer’s team calculated KELT-9b to be roughly 3,777 degrees Celsius (6,830 degrees Fahrenheit) on the dark side and 4327 degrees C (7,820 degrees F) on the star-exposed side.

This makes KELT-9b almost 20 percent hotter than the next-most-scorching exoplanet, WASP-33b. The new planet’s blistering temperature is thanks to its parent star, KELT-9. The star falls in the A-type bracket of stars, the third-hottest category. It is the seventh star of its classification to be found with an exoplanet, and at roughly 300 million years old, it is particularly young and toasty—9,897 degrees C (17,846 degrees F), to be exact. That is nearly twice the temperature of our own sun.

KELT-9b is also unique in its proximity to its giant, tempestuous A-type star. Previous research on older, cooler A-type stars found few large and tightly orbiting planets like KELT-9b—perhaps because as they cool and expand over time, the stars consume any unlucky closely held planets.

The KELT-9b planet was found using one of the two telescopes called KELT, or Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope.

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