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EPIC 203533312 is a large F-Type main sequence star about 1,440 light-years away in the constellation of Scorpius. Over the summer, I stumbled across its previously discovered candidate planet on Exoplanet Explorers. The results were absolutely horrifying. This freak of nature, nicknamed Kraken, appeared to be a 3.1 Earth radius planet orbiting every 4.2 HOURS. Yes, you read that right. The calculated equilibrium temperature for Kraken is nearly 5,100oK, or around 8,800 degrees Fahrenheit!!! That's as hot a some G-type stars!

However, it now seems more likely that Kraken is, in fact, a second star to the system. Believe it or not, that's WORSE than it being the physical embodiment of Hell. Why? To get the signal seen in the K2 data for EPIC 203533312, Kraken would have to be another large star (estimated around 1.5 solar radii) in an 8.4-hour orbit that just grazes the disk of the primary. This is incredibly problematic, as the two stars will likely be close to - if not - touching. A similar system is the binary W Ursae Majoris, which consists of two Sun-like stars that touch and are now shaped like a giant Space Peanut of Death. However, EPIC 203533312 and Kraken are even closer together due to their significantly larger radii. What makes this system even scarier is when you compare it to KIC 9832227. If anybody remembers, this was a pair of G-type stars of 1.58 and 0.83 solar radii in a contact binary system with orbits lasting just 11 hours and will likely merge into a Red Nova in the early 2020's. Both of KIC 9832227's stars are significantly further apart than EPIC 203533312 and Kraken, which makes it quite likely that the latter two can merge within the next few decades - or maybe even within the next few weeks! I honestly don't know. I'm not good when it comes to binary systems, and this system is just so unusual and so dangerous that it's very hard to get a clear picture of its future. Any planets in this system probably only have a handful of years (in cosmic standards) before being incinerated. But how bad can a Red Nova even be?

Spoiler

Image result for v838 monocerotis gif

VERY BAD

The most famous Red Nova star, V838 Monocerotis, was probably once a large blue star that appears to have merged with another star or a very large planet. It suffered an incredible outburst, quickly increasing to 1,200-1,500 times the size of the Sun with over one million times the luminosity, but with a temperature similar to L-class brown dwarfs. The burst was powerful enough to be seen from Earth, around 20,000 light years away. Any planets in this system were likely destroyed or sterilized by the rapid expansion and sudden, dramatic increase in luminosity. While EPIC 203533312 and Kraken likely won't produce something as powerful, V838 Monocerotis proves how potentially dangerous these two stars are. It's absolutely frightening how a pair of stars is about to be completely destroyed and wipe out any planets in its vicinity within a human timescale. I would rank this, hands-down, as one of the most DANGEROUS systems you could ever visit in the entire Universe.

Edited by ProtoJeb21

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If I wasn't already buried neck deep in stuff to do, I'd probably write a sci fi story about the last days of those planets...

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Man this is very EPIC!

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I think i need to forever engrave the termin of "the giant space peanut of death" in my mind

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KSP forums ARE the treasury for unic and epic descriptions for space adressed explanations.... "aerodramatics", "peanut of death"....

And i love peanuts... (T_T)

 

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To sum up what the above scientific paper says:

Adams et al found the planet candidate EPIC 203533312.01 orbiting the Campaign 2 star EPIC 203533312 every 0.17566 days. Using the McDonald observatory, they were able to re-define the parameters for the host star, which is significantly smaller than previous estimates by Huber et al. The host is a rather small F-Type main sequence star with a radius of 1.15 Suns, an effective temperature of 6,620oK, and a gravity of 4.19 log g. This puts the planet outside the star, unlike what has been suggested by the limited and outdated data on ExoFOP. EPIC 203533312.01 is part of 6 "Sub-Jovians" found by the study, with radii between 3 and 11 times that of Earths. Planets of this size with orbital periods below 3 days are incredibly rare, and as a result this sample is part of a so-called "Sub-Jovian Desert", meaning that it is a statistical range where very few examples exist. Out of all six of these candidates, EPIC 203533312.01 is by far the most likely to be a legitimate planet. It shows no signs of alternating primary-secondary transits caused by an eclipsing binary system, and as of now no other signs of a close secondary star have been found. In addition, all transits are consistent, unlike several other candidates, including one that could be a swarm of comets. However, EPIC 203533312.01 is inside the Roche Limit of its host star, so it "must have a density of at least p = 8.9 g/cm3 in order to not be tidally disrupted". This results in a mass estimate of at least 48.5 ME. The authors, while suggesting that EPIC 203533312.01 seems most likely to be an actual planet, advise caution regarding the 6 Sub-Jovian candidates, as they might all be false positives. Indeed, one of them shows a radial velocity signature (>20 km/s) that indicates it is a binary star. Such a signal has not been found for EPIC 203533312.01 yet.

Now for my take on the paper:

These results have proven that Kraken is most likely NOT a binary star on the verge of collapsing with its partner into a cataclysmic Red Nova event. Rather, the accumulated data favors the possibility of this being an actual, legitimate planet literally hugging its star at an incredibly close distance. It is one of the shortest-known exoplanets ever found, with one orbit lasting a mere 4.2158 hours. Using the new stellar parameters observed by Adams et al and the HEC Exoplanet Calculator, I was able to figure out the likely mass and luminosity for EPIC 203533312. It turns out that the star is surprisingly low density, with a mass of about 0.76102 Suns. It also is about 2.27571 times as luminous as the Sun, which would put its conservative habitable zone between 1.438342 and 2.07215 AU. The newly found mass and luminosity values enable the calculation of the semi-major axis and equilibrium temperature of EPIC 203533312.01/Kraken. This planet orbits its star at a distance of 0.0056084 AU from the system's center of mass and has an equilibrium temperature of 4,180oK. That is astronomically close and hot - the planet orbits just 38,000 miles (61,000 km) above the star's surface, and is at the very least an absolutely mind-boggling 7,064 degrees Fahrenheit. For comparison, @Cabbink's Thanatos is "only" around 4,400oF. But that's just part of the story. A planet's equilibrium temperature is its average temp with NO ATMOSPHERE. Since EPIC 203533312.01 is so incredibly massive, it will likely have a huge, crushed-down atmosphere with a ridiculously intense greenhouse effect. This can easily raise the planet's average temperature above 8,000oF (4,700 Kelvin) and potentially compress some of the liquid metals into a substance so weird, so alien, there is no way to describe it. The host star would fill the sky horizon to horizon - cool, but absolutely mortifying. In addition, Kraken is also a hell of a lot more massive than the lower limit of 48.5 Earth masses. That is the minimum possible mass to even survive the tidal forces from EPIC 203533312. In order for this thing to even be remotely rocky - as it likely is, due to the high stellar flux that would've blown away most volatile materials - it would need to be around 180 to 200 times the mass of Earth, at the least. This would give the planet an enormous gravitational pull of over 19 to 21 gees, enough to make a person instantly loose consciousness (if they weren't also immediately melted alive by the horrific temperatures). This is, hands down, the true physical embodiment of Hell, and that is why EPIC 203533312.01 will no longer be nicknamed Kraken. Instead, it will gain the name I have been hoping to use for the most horrifying and inhospitable K2 planet ever found - Tartarus.

Sometimes, I almost regret joining the field of exoplanets, because I have to deal with mind-shattering freaks of nature like this. 

*insanely ridiculously deep exhale*

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Would not go there.

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You don't have to worry about a source of power. You could use a plasma electric generator. lol.

 

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I left the oven on over on kraken. Sorry if it caused any...

...

Oh.

Sorry about that.

Ok honestly, the star should be attached a name. I recommend Hekili, hawiian for thunder, as the mythical kraken comes from the ocean during storms. kaʻino could be used, as it means storm.

Other names: 

tonitrua

Science stuff:

So anylizing the parts of kraken's distance and size, likely low boiling point high density elements will contain it's atmosphere, with some lighter elements scattered about. Tungsten and osmium are likely candidates. However, kraken could have uranium clouds and rain on the back of the planet, permitted it gets "cold"

Edited by Cabbink

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2 hours ago, cubinator said:

Would not go there.

This place definitely won't get a positive Yelp review.

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Dang, that is terrifying! At least we don't have to face that inevitability, but then again, it's roughly 1,400 light-years away.

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Okey dokey one more update.
I ran some sims with the numbers,and it seems that Kraken(I like the name better) ensues a quite massive amount of tidal stress. US2 useda Stress magnitude system, which earth has 0.00000104 on average. Kraken has uhhhh.... 13.6. that means at minimum it ensues 13076923.1 times the earths tidal forces.  to negate gravity on earth, the tides would have to be 9800000 times as strong. with the forces from Hekili, 1.33437991 Gs on the day side would actually be Negated if Kraken rotated, and the same gs would go on the opposite side. the big problem is the forces from Hekili. it exerts on Kraken 51754023209959631900 TERRANEWTONS! compare that to earth's 35416557155 terranewtons, or in other words, the newtons from the star are 1 billion times as strong on kraken. This is plenty enough to rip apart most planets. its possible that massive structures such as floating islands like those in terraria exist, although likely gravel like. I so propose a name of Caelula, a mashup of the latin words for sky island.
@ProtoJeb21
Edit: Oh no its 18. that means its 17307692.3X. ;-;

Edited by Cabbink

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*Hyperventilates*

This is... I don't know. The true deep space kraken? The universe's source of all evil? Mr Shadow from the fifth element?

It's hard to know, but I can say something: I will not go to Kraken today. Or any day, for that matter.

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3 hours ago, MinimalMinmus said:

 

This is... I don't know. The true deep space kraken? The universe's source of all evil? Mr Shadow from the fifth element?

 

nah, its actually really nice to live on, you just need a few thermal suits, oxygen suits, and de-gravity devices. then you have the coolest planet to live on. with massive sky islands its looks really good.

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2 minutes ago, Cabbink said:

nah, its actually really nice to live on, you just need a few thermal suits, oxygen suits, and de-gravity devices. then you have the coolest planet to live on. with massive sky islands its looks really good.

Huh, you forgot quite a few!

-A radiation bunker (we're hugging a star, what are you thinking?)

-A sunscreen with a power level OVER NINE THOUSANDS.

-A rocket capable of getting into LO of a star, and going back.

-A rocket that's basically everything-proof, BTW

AND LET'S NOT FORGET

-The 3 quadrillion € you'd need to pay me to go there.

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17 hours ago, Cabbink said:

the newtons from the star are 1 billion times as strong on kraken. This is plenty enough to rip apart most planets. its possible that massive structures such as floating islands like those in terraria exist, although likely gravel like. I so propose a name of Caelula, a mashup of the latin words for sky island.

Floating islands...due to tidal forces? So basically where the Lagrange points are? 

Could you explain this to someone who's never heard of a planet with floating islands before?

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Just now, cubinator said:

Floating islands...due to tidal forces? So basically where the Lagrange points are? 

Could you explain this to someone who's never heard of a planet with floating islands before?

Well, the tidal forces and gravity from the star is actually quite significant. reaching into very high gs challenging Kraken's gravitational well of in the higher ranks of 30+ gs. its likely super atmosphere weiging a few moons is very good at air resistance. large, less dense chunks would rip off of the planet and becuase of the highest drag in the universe, suspend in the air for millenia, perhaps longer. the islands would just float around. likely, they would only be a few inches of the ground or near exiting the planet's SOI, but if you are lucky, you could have masssive floating pieces of rock on the planet.

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7 minutes ago, Cabbink said:

Well, the tidal forces and gravity from the star is actually quite significant. reaching into very high gs challenging Kraken's gravitational well of in the higher ranks of 30+ gs. its likely super atmosphere weiging a few moons is very good at air resistance. large, less dense chunks would rip off of the planet and becuase of the highest drag in the universe, suspend in the air for millenia, perhaps longer. the islands would just float around. likely, they would only be a few inches of the ground or near exiting the planet's SOI, but if you are lucky, you could have masssive floating pieces of rock on the planet.

I see. But wouldn't the atmosphere get pulled off too if that were the case?

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Just now, cubinator said:

I see. But wouldn't the atmosphere get pulled off too if that were the case?

The atmosphere is dense enough and heavy enough the gravity would keep it. low density rocks wont. think of the atmosphere as glue-like.

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Just now, Cabbink said:

The atmosphere is dense enough and heavy enough the gravity would keep it. low density rocks wont. think of the atmosphere as glue-like.

The atmosphere is more dense than some rocks? Now that makes more sense. Where do tidal forces fall into play here?

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1 minute ago, cubinator said:

The atmosphere is more dense than some rocks? Now that makes more sense. Where do tidal forces fall into play here?

The tidal forces are 1 billion times stronger. this means anything with less density than 8.5 g/cm(?) gets ripped off. so rocks with lets say empty space or lighter elements get pulled up.

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1 hour ago, Cabbink said:

The tidal forces are 1 billion times stronger. this means anything with less density than 8.5 g/cm(?) gets ripped off. so rocks with lets say empty space or lighter elements get pulled up.

I see. So the air is more dense than that and so requires more force to lift up than the tides can provide.

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I have a question for some of the actual physicists here. 

This arrangement can't be stable, right? The planet would be orbiting faster than the star is rotating, and if it's that close, wouldn't it be sweeping up and accumulating matter from the star? Solar wind, at the very least, if not actual contact. Wouldn't the planet be getting more massive, and therefore spiraling in? Granted, there's quite a bit of angular momentum in an orbiting planet, and the rate of accumulation relative to the overall mass of the planet might be small, but over astronomical timescales, it can't last forever. 

Or conversely, is the planet being seared so intensely that it's losing mass like a comet, and therefore gradually getting farther away? 

And how did it get there in the first place? 

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