Planet-Like Object Hotter Than The Sun Baffles Scientists

By Jessica Goudreault | Updated

sun brown dwarf

Right now, people all over the United States may feel like they are hotter than the Sun, but there is actual scientific evidence that a planet-like object in space is hotter than the Sun. The object that is baffling scientists is a brown dwarf by the name of WD0032-317B, according to Science Alert. The piping-hot object that sits somewhere between a planet and a star is currently 1,400 light-years away from Earth.

While the Sun usually has a temperature of 5,778 Kelvin (5,504 degrees Celsius, or 9,940 Fahrenheit), the brown dwarf under investigation is currently at 8,000 Kelvin (7,727 degrees Celsius, or 13,940 Fahrenheit). This is incredibly rare since most brown dwarfs typically have a temperature of around 2,500 Kelvin. That makes this space object a temperature record-breaker since it is the hottest object of its kind that scientists have ever found.

A brown dwarf by the name of WD0032-317B, is currently registering at 8,000 Kelvin

Currently, this brown dwarf is orbiting around its companion, a white dwarf star named WD0032-317. This star was first discovered in the early 2000s when it was spotted by the Ultra-Violet-Visual Echelle Spectrograph (UVES), a device used on the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope. It stuck out to scientists because of its large size (40 percent of the Sun’s mass) and its hot temperature (37,000 Kelvin).

When observing WD0032-317, astronomers discovered the piping-hot brown dwarf that was orbiting the star. It was easy to see since it was emitting hydrogen that evaporated off the star, making it look like it was smoking.

The brown dwarf is tidally locked onto its star companion, meaning that one side of the dwarf is always facing the star while the other side faces away. The side that faces the star is constantly being exposed to radiating heat, causing its temperature to rise. While the hot side sits at around 7,250 to 9,800 Kelvin, the cooler side sits at a much lower temperature of 1,300 to 3,000 Kelvin.

The side that faces the star is constantly being exposed to radiating heat, causing its temperature to rise

One might think that a brown dwarf is a small object in space, but they are actually quite large. Each one is about 13 times the mass of Jupiter, and the mass of Jupiter is already huge, roughly the size of 318 Earths. With that amount of mass, a brown dwarf can generate enough pressure and heat to ignite deuterium fusion, a nuclear fusion that combines a deuterium nucleus with a proton to create a helium-3 nucleus.

While brown dwarfs can live forever, stars like white dwarfs and the Sun are slowly dying. When a star runs out of hydrogen in its core, it begins its dying process of collapsing down into a dense object that is about the size of our planet. This process creates a lot of energy which then spikes the temperature of the star, making it as hot as a blue supergiant.

If you are in the United States or anywhere that is experiencing a heat wave, then hopefully you are staying nice and cool. Don’t let your body temperature get above 310 Kelvin (99 degrees Fahrenheit) or else you’ll be in trouble.