Everything About Kepler-432b is Extreme, Especially the Way it’s Going to Die
Illustration of the orbit of Kepler-432b (inner, red) in comparison to the orbit of Mercury around the Sun (outer, orange). Credit: Dr. Sabine Reffert.
Astronomers are calling Kepler-432b a ‘maverick’ planet because everything about this newly found exoplanet is an extreme, and is unlike anything we’ve found before. This is a giant, dense planet orbiting a red giant star, and the planet has enormous temperature swings throughout its year. In addition to all these extremes, there’s another reason you wouldn’t want to live on Kepler 432b: its days are numbered.
“In less than 200 million years, Kepler-432b will be swallowed by its continually expanding host star,” said Mauricio Ortiz, a PhD student at Heidelberg University who led one of the two studies of the planet. “This might be the reason why we do not find other planets like Kepler-432b – astronomically speaking, their lives are extremely short.”
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