What is the hottset planet in the universe? Learn more about the solar system in this article!
It’s a well-known fact that the solar system consists of 9 planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. What is the hottest planet in the solar system?
Probably, it would be logical to assume that the closer a planet is to the Sun, the higher the temperature on the surface is. Mercury is an example of such a planet. The orbit of the planet is only 58 million kilometers away from the sun. The temperature of the sunny side of Mercury can reach 700 ° K (Kelvin), or 426 ° C. The temperature drops to 80 ° K ( -173 ° C) in the shadow.
But in fact, the highest temperature isn’t marked on Mercury. The hottest planet is considered to be Venus. It is much farther from the Sun - more than 108 million kilometers separates the planet from the sun. However, the average temperature here reaches 735 Kelvin degrees (462 ° C).
At the same time the temperature on Venus remains constant everywhere in the planet. Therefore, the temperature at the North Pole of Venus is 735 Kelvin degrees. The temperature also remains unchanged at night.
But why is the temperature on Venus so high if it is farther from the Sun than Mercury? It turns out that it all depends on the atmosphere. There is no air and anything similar to the atmosphere on Mercury. At the meantime, Venus has an atmosphere consisting of carbon dioxide. Therefore, there is a very high pressure on the surface. That’s why a very high temperature is constantly maintained here.
READ ALSO: Is it true that there are only nine planets?
Until 2010 scientists believed that the hottest known planet in the Milky Way was the planet WASP-12b. It is located at a distance of about 1,200 light years from Earth.
The temperature at the surface reaches 1500 degrees Fahrenheit. The body of the planet is so saturated with carbon that the kernel of WASP-12b consists of the diamonds and graphite. The outer shell of the planet is gaseous, like Jupiter. It mainly consists of hydrogen.
New data, recently obtained by using the Hubble Space Telescope states that this planet is quickly absorbed by the yellow dwarf star. Presumably, the planet will be completely absorbed by the star in 10 million years. At the moment the planet is so close to the surface of the dwarf, that its temperature can reach 2800 degrees Fahrenheit.
The parent star of the planet WASP-12 is located approximately 600 light-years from the constellation Auriga in the northern hemisphere. The exoplanet absorbed by this star was discovered in 2008.
Nowadays, WASP-33b is considered to be the hottest known planet in the universe. It was found by the team of British scientists who were involved in the search for exoplanets. The biggest temperature was found to be 3466 ± 130 Kelvin degrees, which makes it the hottest among all the discovered planets. The exact temperature at its surface was determined in 2011. It was 3,200 degrees Celsius.
WASP-33b was discovered in the summer of 2010, during the search of transiting planets. The planet belongs to the hot Jupiters: its weight is 4.5 times bigger than the weight of the largest planet of the solar system, and the radius is also 1.44 times bigger than on that planet. WASP-33b is located 380 light years from Earth,
Therefore, WASP-33b is 15 times closer to its star than Mercury is to the Sun, and such a high temperature of the planet doesn’t seem to be surprising. Especially as the parent star WASP-33 is twice as hot as the Sun. This planet is located in the constellation of Andromeda.
To sum up, the universe is amazing and it definitely needs to be discovered more and more.