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024519

artist's impression shows a blistering world revolving around its nearby 'sun.' NASA's infrared Spitzer Space Telescope observed a planetary system like this one, as the planet's sunlit and dark hemispheres swung alternately into the telescope's view. Based on the rise and fall of the planet's infrared light, or heat, Spitzer was able to measure the difference in temperature between the two sides of the planet -- about 1,400 degrees Celsius (2,550 degrees Fahrenheit). According to the astronomers, this means that the sunlit side of the planet is always as hot as fire, while the dark side is potentially as cold as ice.

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024519.jpg
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Irish Photo Archive
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artist's impression shows a blistering world revolving around its nearby 'sun.' NASA's infrared Spitzer Space Telescope observed a planetary system like this one, as the planet's sunlit and dark hemispheres swung alternately into the telescope's view. Based on the rise and fall of the planet's infrared light, or heat, Spitzer was able to measure the difference in temperature between the two sides of the planet -- about 1,400 degrees Celsius (2,550 degrees Fahrenheit). According to the astronomers, this means that the sunlit side of the planet is always as hot as fire, while the dark side is potentially as cold as ice.