Scientists discover the hottest planet in the universe
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Posted 31 January 2011 - 10:06 AM
A planet discovered for the first time last year is the hottest ever found, scientists have revealed. The gaseous surface of WASP-33b - also known as HD15082 - is a record-breaking 3,200C. The exoplanet's scorching temperature is explained by its close orbit around its star, itself one of the hottest planet-hosting stars at 7,160C. It is 380 light-years away in the constellation of Andromeda.
Scientists were first alerted to WASP-33b's existence in 2006, after observing regularly timed dimmings of its parent star. This was caused by the planet, four-and-a-half times the size of Jupiter, orbiting its star at less than 7 per cent the distance of Mercury from the sun. This is not to be scoffed at considering the star's temperature of 7,160C dwarfs the sun's 5,600C.
WASP-33b completes an orbit every 29.5 hours.
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