Monday, December 4, 2023
Contact    |    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon  
Unexplained Mysteries
You are viewing: Home > News > Space & Astronomy > News story
Welcome Guest ( Login or Register )  
All ▾
Search Submit

Space & Astronomy

Newfound 'iron planet' has molten metal surface

By T.K. Randall
December 3, 2021 · Comment icon 2 comments

This is one planet you wouldn't want to visit. Image Credit: SPP 1992 (Patricia Klein)
Astronomers have identified a new extrasolar planet that is thought to be comprised of more than 80% iron.
Situated approximately 30 light years from Earth in orbit around the dwarf star GJ 367, the new planet was discovered by NASA's Transiting Exoplanets Survey Satellite (TESS) mission which looks out for the telltale dip in starlight caused by an orbiting planet moving in front of it.

With a radius around three-quarters that of the Earth, the surface conditions on this pint-sized world, which is tidally locked so that one side faces its star at all times, are undeniably hellish.

Its iron core is believed to extend 85% of the way to the surface, leaving a thin rock crust.
With surface temperatures of 1,745 Kelvin, however, it is likely that at least some of its surface is molten iron - making the chances of finding life there practically zero.

In many ways GJ 367b is a lot like the planet Mercury, albeit larger, much closer to its parent star and with a density 1.5 times greater.

"This is a unique object with a short orbital period and a high density," said Kristine Lam of the German Aerospace Center.

"This discovery paves the way for future exoplanet scientists to find smaller and smaller planets, hopefully like something in our Solar System, or something completely different."

Source: Ars Technica | Comments (2)

Other news and articles
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Jon the frog 2 years ago
Okey, we need to cool hit and use a freakin huge slingshot to throw it in the nearest star to see what happen !
Comment icon #2 Posted by psyche101 2 years ago
Also interesting, this planet appears to have an eight hour year.

Please Login or Register to post a comment.

Our new book is out now!
Book cover

The Unexplained Mysteries
Book of Weird News


Take a walk on the weird side with this compilation of some of the weirdest stories ever to grace the pages of a newspaper.

Click here to learn more

We need your help!
Patreon logo

Support us on Patreon


For less than the cost of a cup of coffee, you can gain access to a wide range of exclusive perks including our popular 'Lost Ghost Stories' series.

Click here to learn more

Recent news and articles