Newly discovered planet revealed to be boiling hot

March 24th, 2008 - 3:04 pm ICT by admin  

London, March 24 (ANI): A new planet, spotted about a thousand light years away from Earth, has been revealed to be having excessively high temperatures of about 2460 degC, which makes it one of the hottest in our galactic neighbourhood.

According to a report in New Scientist, the planet, known as HAT-P-7b, was spotted by a network of small telescopes called HATNet.

It orbits at only 5.6 million kilometres from its star - around one-tenth of the distance between Mercury and our sun, which might be a major reason for its extremely high temperature.

The planet’s atmosphere could distribute the solar energy in a number of ways, said Robert Noyes of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

But one model suggests temperatures could reach a searing 2460 degC.

The relatively hot and large host star, combined with the close orbit of the planet, yield a very high planetary irradiance, which places the planet near the top of the pM class of irradiated planets.

Because the host star is quite bright, measurement of the secondary eclipse should be feasible for ground-based telescopes, providing a good opportunity to compare the predictions of current hot Jupiter atmospheric models with the observations.

Moreover, the host star falls in the field of the upcoming Kepler mission; hence extensive space-borne follow-up, including not only primary transit and secondary eclipse observations but also asteroseismology, will be possible. (ANI)

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