Astronomers have found an alien world that could be the closest known planet smaller than the Earth.
At two-thirds the size of our own planet and just 33 light years away, UCF-1.01 is thought to be so hot that its entire surface could be covered in an ocean of magma. Discovered using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, the planet is believed to have little in the way of an atmosphere and is more likely to resemble Mercury than the Earth.
"We have found strong evidence for a very small, very hot and very near planet with the help of the Spitzer Space Telescope," said Kevin Stevenson who is lead author of the paper detailing the discovery. "Identifying nearby small planets such as UCF-1.01 may one day lead to their characterization using future instruments."
"Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have detected what they believe is a planet two-thirds the size of Earth."
View: Full article | Source: NASA
Discuss: View comments (12)