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NCCR PlanetS

Iron and titanium in the atmosphere of KELT-9b

16 Aug 2018, 06:34 UTC
Iron and titanium in the atmosphere of KELT-9b UNIGE/Denis Bejram

Exoplanets, planets in other solar systems, can orbit very close to their host star. When, in addition to this, the host star is much hotter than our Sun, then the exoplanet becomes as hot as a star. The hottest “ultra-hot” planet was discovered last year by American astronomers. Now, an international team, led by researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), who joined forces with theoreticians from the University of Bern (UNIBE), Switzerland, discovered the presence of iron and titanium vapours in the atmosphere of this planet. The detection of these heavy metals was made possible by the surface temperature of this planet, which reaches more than 4,000 degrees. 

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