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Exoplanet with heavy metal atmosphere discovered

A hot gas giant whose atmosphere is made up of iron and titanium vapours has been discovered 650 light years away from Earth.

Located in 2016 in the Cygnus (swan) constellation, the exoplanet Kelt-9b is a gas giant, not unlike Jupiter. But while the average temperature on Jupiter is a chilly –145°C, Kelt-9b’s atmosphere gets heated to more than 3700°C as it orbits a star twice as hot as the sun.

Viewed from the planet’s surface, its blue star would appear 70 times the size of the sun in the Earth’s sky.

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