Skip to comments.Alien planet Kepler-7b forecast: Partly cloudy with a high of 1,500 F
Posted on 10/05/2013 8:24:03 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Kepler 7-b was one of the first five planets to be confirmed by the Kepler spacecraft. Orbiting just 5.6 million miles (9 million km) from its host star in the constellation Lyra, the planet sizzles with a surface temperature between 1,500 and 1,800 degrees F (815-980 degrees C). While thats twice as hot as our solar systems scorcher planet Venus, scientists were puzzled why Kepler-7b wasnt even hotter given how close it is to its sun.
Kepler tracked the hot world through its moon-like phases for more than three years to create a rough map that showed a bright spot in its western hemisphere. Unsure as to whether the spot originated from clouds or the glow of intense heat, NASA swung the Spitzer Space Telescope around for a look. Even though it wasnt designed to study exoplanets, it proved to be the perfect tool to solve the mystery of the white spot.
Spitzer studies celestial objects by the heat they radiate called infrared light. After three years of analysis, scientists determined that Kepler-7bs temperature was too cool to be the source of the bright spot. Instead, a cloudy western hemisphere fit the data much better. Clouds are excellent reflectors of light; starlight bouncing from the planets cloud tops made sense...
We can be grateful for the more than 3,500 candidate planets the probe discovered during four years of useful life. They were all found by studying dips in a stars brightness when a planet crossed or transited in front of it, blocking out a tiny portion of the light.
Just 151 of those planets have been confirmed, but scientists expect more 90 percent to be added to the roster once all the datas crunched. Despite its unfortunate end, Keplers legacy will shine for years to come.
(Excerpt) Read more at astrobob.areavoices.com ...
Kepler-7b (left), which is 1.5 times the size of Jupiter (right), is the first exoplanet to have its clouds mapped. The hot planet zips around its host star in just under 5 days. Despite its large size, its only half as massive as Jupiter, making it one of the fluffiest planets known. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MIT
An extra to APoD.
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Isn't obvious? No humans.
Before I book a room there, is that a summer or a winter temp?
YEAH BUT ITS A DRY HEAT
How hot before a solid rocky planet becomes a hot, round liquid planet?
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