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10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
- 10 April 2014 11:44 am , Vol. 344 , #6180
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ScienceShot: Hot World Breaks Record
14 January 2011 2:17 pm
Planetary hells keep getting hotter. Twenty years ago, the hottest known planet was nearby Venus, sizzling at 460°C. Then, planet hunters started finding "hot Jupiters"—giant worlds, hotter than Venus, that orbit close to their stars. Some of these planets were more than 1000°C. Now, in a paper submitted to Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, astronomers report a new record breaker: WASP 33 b, circling a white-hot star 380 light-years away in the constellation Andromeda. A gas giant like Jupiter, the planet whips around its star every 29.28 hours (versus 225 days for Venus), periodically blocking some of the starlight, which tipped astronomers off to the world's presence. Then, in late October, they used the William Herschel Telescope in the Canary Islands and detected the planet's near-infrared glow. This revealed the temperature: a whopping 3200°C. That's hundreds of degrees hotter than the previous champ and makes Venus look like Pluto in comparison.
See more ScienceShots.