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Ultrahot Planet Orbits Star’s Poles

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Text, News From The Universe. July 8, 2020
 
Ultra-hot Planet Orbits Star's Poles
 
K E L T 9 b is one of the hottest planets ever discovered - hotter than some stars.
 
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NASA's TESS telescope shows that the planet's unusual relationship to its host star contributes to its extreme environment.
 
K E L T 9 b orbits closely over the star's poles rather than around its equator, with a full orbit or "year" taking only 36 hours.

The star itself spins rapidly, which distorts its shape and causes its poles to be warmer than its middle.
 
As K E L T 9 b orbits, it experiences two summers and two slightly less-hot "winters" each year.
 
Diagram, the planet's orbit is divided into four separate quadrants, showing the two summer and two winter "seasons."
 
Text, Each season lasts about 9 hours.
 
The detailed TESS data is helping astronomers learn more about stars and planets like this, which are so intriguingly different from our own solar system.
 
This news was brought to you in part by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD