Current AffairsScience & tech

Hottest planet in the known universe discovered

About the planet

  • TOI-1431b, also known as MASCARA-5b, was found 490 light-years from Earth and could be the hottest planet in the known universe.
  • Researchers at the University of Southern Queensland’s Centre for Astrophysics in Toowoomba led the global team that made the discovery.
  • NASA’s Training Exoplanet Survey Satellite first flagged TOI-1431b as a possible planet in late 2019.
  • Dayside temperature reaches approximately 2700 degrees celcius and nightside temperature approaches approximately 2300 degrees celcius –no life could survive in its atmosphere.
  • This temperature is significantly greater than the melting point of most metals, many of which will turn to liquid at under 2000 degrees celcius.
  • Titanium melts at 1670 degrees, platinum at 1770 degrees, and stainless steel at between 1375 and 1530 degrees.

Planet with a retrograde orbit

  • These types of planets, known as ultra-hot Jupiters, are rarely discovered but this particular one is even more unusual due to its retrograde orbit.
  • In our Solar System, all the planets orbit in the same direction that the Sun rotates and they’re all along the same plane.
  • This new planet’s orbit is tilted so much that it is actually going in the opposite direction to the rotation of its host star.
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October 2021
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