Jessica Sieff | June 5, 2017
A newly discovered planet almost three times the size of Jupiter is fascinating scientists with a unique orbit, atmospheric features and a daytime temperature hotter than most stars.
According to research published in the journal Nature, an international team of scientists, including Justin R. Crepp, Freimann Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Notre Dame, say the planet is 2.8 times bigger than Jupiter and reaches temperatures over 7,800 degrees Fahrenheit (4,600 Kelvin) during the day – just 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,200 Kelvin) cooler than the sun.
The planet may even have a tail like a comet.
KELT-9b runs a close orbit to KELT-9, the hottest, most massive and brightest star yet found to host a transiting giant planet. Though KELT-9b is larger than Jupiter, it is not as dense. Researchers believe low surface gravity combined with its extremely high temperature contributes to an in-flated and gaseous atmosphere.