Water is widely considered to be one of the key ingredients of life. However, in the case of exoplanets such as those orbiting the ultra-cool red dwarf star Trappist-1, the presence of water in abundant amounts could likely be detrimental to the appearance or sustenance of alien life. The discovery of Trappist-1, which is slightly bigger than Jupiter and is located in the Aquarius constellation, around 40 light years away from our sun, excited researchers, especially after seven exoplanets were spotted orbiting the star. Researchers have yet to find a planetary system with such a large number of exoplanets. A team of interdisciplinary researchers, studying the Trappist-1 planet's habitability, discovered new details about its composition.
Surface temperatures on the hottest planet ever discovered can reach 4,327 C (7,820 F), scientists have revealed. The scalding exoplanet experiences such high temperatures that iron and titanium vapour are found in the atmosphere – something typically only observed in stars. Known as KELT-9b, the celestial body is three times the size of Jupiter but only half as dense, which allows the heavy metal vapours to form. Scientists have found evidence of iron and titanium vapour in the atmosphere of the hottest exoplanet - a planet that exists outside of our solar system - ever spotted. The scalding temperatures of KELT-9b (artist's impression pictured) helped form the heavy metal vapours The researchers published their findings in the journal Nature and describe a'unique laboratory to analyse how atmospheres can evolve under intense stellar radiation'.
About 350 light-years from Earth lies a binary star system whose stars have the official nomenclatures of HD 240430 and HD 240429. Nothing particularly unusual about that, except one of those stars, seems to have consumed terrestrial material worth the mass of 15 Earths. HD 240430 is nicknamed Kronos because it is quite likely the planets it consumed were a part of its system. Kronos is a Greek mythological character, a Titan who ate his children lest one of them usurp him. Not that the planets, in this case, had any chance of threatening their parent star, but the analogy still applies.