Scientists recently discovered the hottest planet ever found – with a surface temperature greater than some stars. As the hunt for planets outside our own solar system continues, we have discovered many other worlds with extreme features. And the ongoing exploration of our own solar system has revealed some pretty weird contenders, too. Here are seven of the most extreme.
In our own solar system, Mercury is the closest planet to the sun at a mean distance of 57,910,000km. Temperatures on its dayside reach about 430°C (806°F), while the sun itself has a surface temperature of 5,500°C. But stars more massive than the sun burn hotter. The star HD 195689 – also known as KELT-9 – is 2.5 times more massive than the sun and has a surface temperature of almost 10,000°C. Its planet, KELT-9b, is much closer to its host star than Mercury is to the sun.This results in a whopping 4300°C – which is hotter than many of the stars with a lower mass than our sun.
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At a temperature of just 50 degrees above absolute zero (-223°C) OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb snatches the title of the coldest planet. At about 5.5 times the Earth’s mass it is likely to be a rocky planet too. The reason behind his coldness is its host star which is a low mass, cool star known as a red dwarf.
Planet DENIS-P J082303.1-491201 b with the equally unpronounceable alias 2MASS J08230313-4912012 b has 28.5 times the mass of Jupiter – making it the most massive planet listed in NASA’s exoplanet archive.
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PSR B1620-26 b, at 12.7 billion years, is the oldest known planet. A gas giant 2.5 times the mass of Jupiter it has been seemingly around forever. Our universe at 13.8 billion years is only a billion years older.
However, as it formed so early in the universe’s history, it probably doesn’t have enough of the heavy elements such as carbon and oxygen (which formed later) needed for life to evolve.
The planetary system V830 Tauri is only 2 million years old. The host star has the same mass as our sun but twice the radius, which means it has not fully contracted into its final shape yet. The planet – a gas giant with three quarters the mass of Jupiter – is likewise probably still growing.
6.The worst weather
However, the title goes to Venus. A planet the same size as Earth, it is shrouded in clouds of sulfuric acid. The atmosphere moves around the planet much faster than the planet rotates, with winds reaching hurricane speeds of 360km/h (224mph). Double-eyed cyclones are sustained above each pole. Its atmosphere is almost 100 times denser than Earth’s and made up of over 95% carbon dioxide.
Just slightly larger than our moon and smaller than Mercury, Kepler-37b is the smallest exoplanet yet discovered. A rocky world, it is closer to its host star than Mercury is to the sun. That means the planet is too hot to support liquid water.
THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY CREATED BY theconversation.com