Main Menu

Newly-discovered extremely hot planet may have comet-like tail – study

An unbelievable Jupiter like planet that is hotter than most stars and which might contain a comet like tail has been discovered by an international team of scientists.

The discovery shocked even the astronomers themselves, who admitted to questioning whether the scorching world of KELT-9b could possibly be real. Details of the remarkable find have been published in Nature.

The KELT-9b has a day-side temperature of 4,600 Kelvin (more than 7,800 degrees Fahrenheit) – only 1,200 Kelvin (about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit) cooler than the Sun.

“It is so hot that it is hotter than most stars that we know of out there,” said Scott Gaudi, professor of astronomy at The Ohio State University and leader of the study, as cited in NPR.

The gas giant is almost three times more massive than Jupiter but only half as dense. Scientists say this is as a result of the extreme radiation from its host star causing its atmosphere ”to puff up like a balloon.”

“It’s a planet by any of the typical definitions based on mass, but its atmosphere is almost certainly unlike any other planet we’ve ever seen just because of the temperature of its day side,” said Gaudi in a statement.


Read more