Transcripts of 13635_KELT-9b_1080

{Music throughout] This is KELT-9 b. It’s about twice the size of Jupiter and it’s always superhot, taking only 36 hours to orbit its star. It receives 44,000 times more energy than the Sun delivers to Earth, making it one of the hottest planets known, with a dayside temperature hotter than the surfaces of some stars. This causes its atmosphere to boil away into space. Now, thanks to observations from NASA’s TESS satellite, we know KELT-9 b is even weirder. TESS spots dips in starlight whenever a planet passes in front of its star from our perspective. Astronomers call these dips transits. But KELT-9 b’s odd star complicates things. It spins so fast it’s squished into an oval. This makes its poles hotter than its middle, a property scientists call “gravity darkening.” The planet’s orbit, also odd, carries it over the star’s poles. Combined, these effects make the start of each transit different from its end, making further study difficult. A team led by NASA Goddard scientists used TESS observations to disentangle these effects and provide further insight into the system. The polar orbit and gravity darkening give KELT-9 b an unusual type of season. Summer occurs when it passes over the star's hot poles. Winter — such as it is — happens when it passes the cooler equator. And for every 36-hour orbit, which is KELT-9 b’s year, the planet experiences these seasons twice ... and each is less than 9 hours long. Scientists expect the frequently changing temperatures produce wild winds, and they’re busy modeling KELT-9 b’s atmosphere. Thanks to TESS, astronomers are equipped to learn more about this curious system, and others like it. Explore: solar system & beyond NASA