“Satan’s Abode” -Exoplanet So Hot Molecules in Its Atmosphere are Torn to Shreds

Exoplanet KELT-9b

 

And we thought Venus was hot, with a surface temperature that melts lead. New observations of a bizarre world beyond our solar system, a massive gas giant –KELT-9b, an ultra-hot Jupiter three times the mass of our own Jupiter– is hotter than a star –a habitat so strange, that planetwide meltdowns tear apart the molecules that make up its atmosphere. A team of astronomers using NASA’s Spitzer space telescope has found evidence that the heat is so intense that molecules of hydrogen gas are likely ripped apart on the dayside of KELT-9b, unable to re-form until their disjointed atoms flow around to the planet’s nightside.

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