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Space & Astronomy

Searing hot diamond-cored extrasolar world is a veritable 'hell planet'

By T.K. Randall
December 12, 2022 · Comment icon 5 comments

An artist's impression of the planet. Image Credit: ESA / Hubble, M. Kornmesser
Situated 40 light-years away, this hellish terrestrial world is like nothing found in our own solar system.
Known as 55 Cancri e ( or Janssen ), the planet orbits the star Copernicus around 40 light-years from Earth and has been the subject of a recent investigation by astronomers using the EXtreme PREcision Spectrometer instrument at the 4.3-meter Lowell Discovery Telescope in Arizona.

Known as a 'super-Earth' owing to it being a rocky terrestrial world 8 times more massive than our own, the planet's surface sees temperatures of nearly 2,000 degrees Celsius.

The planet orbits its star so closely, in fact, that a single day only lasts 17.5 Earth hours.

There is evidence to suggest that this wasn't always the case, however.
"Astronomers expect that this planet formed much farther away and then spiraled into its current orbit," said study author Debra Fischer who is also the Eugene Higgins Professor of Astronomy at Yale.

"That journey could have kicked the planet out of the equatorial plane of the star, but this result shows the planet held on tight."

As for the possibilities of finding life on 55 Cancri e - the chances are pretty much negligible. It's far too hot for liquid water and it would be like trying to survive in the heart of a volcano.

The data from the study, however, should help astronomers better understand the prevalence of Earth-like worlds in the galaxy and what type of solar systems might give rise to them.

"We're hoping to find planetary systems similar to ours, and to better understand the systems that we do know about," said lead study author Lily Zhao.

Source: CBS News | Comments (5)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Ell 1 year ago
These 'results' are merely astronomers busy at model fantasizing. "We have a model and according to that model these observations mean ..."   It is nonsense. I also have a model: There is no planet there. Accordingly the observations must have another explanation.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Bavarian Raven 1 year ago
I’ll trust the researchers findings over some random person spewing conspiracies online. ;)
Comment icon #3 Posted by Ell 1 year ago
Show me that there is actually a planet there. You cannot.
Comment icon #4 Posted by TripGun 1 year ago
Without interest they lose funding. Science fan service.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Bavarian Raven 1 year ago
I can't. But the researchers can. When they publish, you can write your own paper trying to dismiss their claims. 

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