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Heat Redistribution on a Strongly Irradiated Brown Dwarf

12 Nov 2013, 09:14 UTC
Heat Redistribution on a Strongly Irradiated Brown Dwarf NASA
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KELT-1b, a brown dwarf with 27 times the mass of Jupiter, circles around an F-type star in a close-in 1.2-day orbit. The tight orbit places KELT-1b in a highly irradiated environment, where the incident radiation it receives from its parent star is 5,800 times more intense than what Earth gets from the Sun. Although the radiation environment of KELT-1b is similar to that for hot Jupiters, KELT-1b is different due to it large mass which places it in the brown dwarf regime. With several Jupiter masses packed into a volume that is only slightly larger than Jupiter’s, the surface gravity on KELT-1b is a whopping 115 times the surface gravity on Earth. In a way, KELT-1b can be perceived as a “hot Jupiter” with a very high surface gravity.Artist’s Impression of a hot Jupiter. Credit: NASA.Observations of KELT-1b using the Spitzer space telescope show that the amount of heat redistribution from its day side to its night side is very low. This is because KELT-1b quickly radiates the energy it receives from its parent star back into space before it is transported to the night side. As a consequence, KELT-1b has a very hot day night and a much cooler ...

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