Illustration of a hot planet close to its star

Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

Science alert! Hellish skies on a hot world

NEWS | September 13, 2017
Habitable Zone
Inferno world: WASP-19b
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Inferno world: WASP-19b Illustration

A gas giant 815 light-years away. It's a type of planet sometimes called a "hot Jupiter" because of it's similarity to our Jupiter, but incredible hot temperatures. Click or tap to rotate the planet.

Planet: WASP-19b

New discovery: A heat absorbing molecule, titanium oxide, was found in the atmosphere of an already hellishly hot gas planet. Besides making this planet about the same temperature as a small star, it's a new level of detail discovered in the atmosphere of planet beyond our solar system.

Discovered by: European Southern Observatory

Found on: September 2017

Key Facts: WASP-19b is about the same size as Jupiter, but only takes 19 hours to orbit its star, which is why it's so hot. (Imagine if Eath's year only lasted hours!) The planet's atmosphere is about 3,632 degrees Fahrenheit, or 2,000 in Celsius.

NASA's take: The better scientists get at understanding exoplanet atmospheres, the more likely it is we'll recognize a planet with an atmosphere like Earth's. NASA missions like the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope will look for familiar elements in the atmospheres of nearby worlds.

Read more: European Southern Observatory

Paper: "Detection of titanium oxide in the atmosphere of a hot Jupiter” in Nature