A newly discovered Earth-sized world around a distant star completes a full orbit in a matter of hours.
Dubbed Kepler 78b, the small world orbits its parent star at a distance 40 times closer than Mercury's orbit of our own sun. Not only does this produce an extremely short orbital period but the planet itself is a smouldering, hellish world with temperatures exceeding 3,000 Kelvin. By contrast, Mercury's maximum surface temperature peaks at around 700 Kelvin.
The newly discovered planet has a few other surprises in store as well. It is the first time scientists have been able to directly observe light from a planet of this size and because of its tight orbit, it is believed that it may be possible to determine its mass, a feat never achieved before for a planet outside of our own solar system.
"Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have discovered a new, Earth-sized exoplanet for which orbiting its star is literally all in a day's work."
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Source: The Register
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