The powerful new telescope is undergoing a ten day visual field test, as scientists prepare to use the powerful instrument in a 3 1/2 year mission to find planets that are a similar size to Earth and located within the Milky Way.
The first planet the telescope observed is pictured at left and orbits a star named HAT P-7. The planet itself is approximately the size of Jupiter, and the telescopes analysis revealed very exciting and groundbreaking information.
The planet is hot. Very hot.
From analysis of data, researchers found that the planet is 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit on its side that faces the Sun. The non-solar facing portion of the planet still measures in at an astonishing 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
The giant, gaseous exoplanet’s high temperatures are related to its proximity to star HAT P-7, being 26 times closer to its star than the Sun is to Earth. It takes the planet only 2.2 Earth days to orbit the its star.
Female MIT professor and Kepler team member, Sarah Seager, stated the obvious about the findings:
“‘It learned that this planet is like 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That is so hot. And it’s 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit just on one side only. The other side would be closer to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.’”