KELT 9-B seems an innocuous-enough name for an exoplanet. It was discovered in 2017 and is apparently an “ultra-hot Jupiter” – huge gas giants hotter than anything in our solar system. In fact, some of the new data coming in suggests that it is three times larger than our Jupiter and approximately 7,800 degrees Fahrenheit on its surface. So hot in fact, that hydrogen atoms are shredded by the heat during the daytime and can only re-form until they appear on the dark side of the planet; KELT 9-B is tidally locked to its star, so the hot side always faces its sun.
It’s amazing to me that we can figure this stuff out since we can’t just look it up on the internet. All the data on KELT 9-B has come from two robotic telescopes in the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope project, one telescope in South Africa and the other in southern Arizona. And of course, it makes me wonder how a planet like KELT 9-B comes into existence. And can it survive its own heat?
How do you cool down when you’re angry?