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Brian Pittman
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KELT-9b: a Planet Hotter Than Most Stars in Our Galaxy

KELT-9b is the hottest gas giant exoplanet known so far, with a dayside temperature of 4600 K, which makes it hotter than M-type stars, and many K-type stars. It orbits HD 195689 (or KELT-9), an A-type main sequence star about 620 light-years from Earth.
This Jupiter-like world (it is 2.8 times more massive than Jupiter, but only half as dense) may be vaporized by its own star or, if gas giant planets like KELT-9b possess solid rocky cores as some theories suggest, be boiled down to a barren rock, like Mercury.
Given that the planet’s atmosphere is constantly blasted with high levels of ultraviolet radiation, KELT-9b may even be shedding a tail of evaporated planetary material like a comet.

The host star KELT-9 has a temperature of 10170 K, which is remarkable, as transiting planets are not usually detected in hot stars; as a reference, only six A-type stars were known to have planets prior to KELT-9b discovery (WASP-33, an A-type star with a temperature of 7430 K being the hottest at the moment of the discovery of KELT-9b), and no B-type stars were known (hotter than A-type stars); KELT-9, classified as B9.5-A0 or A1, is the first B-type star (or, at least, almost B-type) in which a planet has been discovered.

KELT-9b is also unusual in that it orbits perpendicular to the spin axis of the star. That would be analogous to the planet orbiting perpendicular to the plane of our solar system. One "year" on this planet is less than two days.

The planet was detected using the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope and the results of its unusual nature were published in 2016.

“Thanks to this planet’s star-like heat, it is an exceptional target to observe at all wavelengths, from ultraviolet to infrared, in both transit and eclipse. Such observations will allow us to get as complete a view of its atmosphere as is possible for a planet outside our solar system,” said Knicole Colon, paper co-author who was based at NASA Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley during the time of this study.

► Learn more>> https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/astronomers-find-planet-hotter-than-most-stars

► Paper "A giant planet undergoing extreme-ultraviolet irradiation by its hot massive-star host" in Nature | Letter>> http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v546/n7659/full/nature22392.html?foxtrotcallback=true

Animation excerpted from this Vanderbilt University video>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2lL-5AlvI0

#Exoplanets, #Stars, #Universe, #KELT_9b, #Research
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