Astronomers have discovered the most uninhabitable planet that rains on rocks with lava seas 60 miles deep and winds more than 3,000 miles.
The Earth-sized planet has four times the speed of sound and a temperature of 3,000 degrees Celsius on one side – enough to evaporate the rock.
But they, on the other hand, fall below minus 200C – cold enough to freeze nitrogen.
The strange exoplanet contains a vast ocean of magma – more than 60 miles deep.
Named K2-141b, it is about 200 light-years away – one of the most intense ever discovered.
Learning this sheds new light on the evolution of the earth.
Leading author Jiang Guin, a PhD student at York University in Toronto, said: “This study is the first to make predictions about the weather at K2-141b.”
The surface, ocean and atmosphere of the fiery, hot world are all made of the same ingredients – rocks. There are seas of molten lava.
The planet described in the Royal Astronomical Society’s monthly announcements was discovered two years ago by the Kepler space telescope.
Computer simulations now predict the weather.
The aforementioned habitats may change the surface and atmosphere permanently over time.
Two-thirds of K2-141b in the analysis of light patterns shows infinite daylight. On Earth, both hemispheres receive the same amount of sunlight.
Exoplanets belong to a subset of rocky planets that orbit very close to their star, the researchers explained.
This proximity is always gravitationally facing the same side – ultimately creating a thin atmosphere in some areas.
Professor Nicholas Cowan, co-author of the University of McGill in Montreal, said: “Our discovery means that the atmosphere extends slightly beyond the shores of the Magma Ocean, making it easier to detect space telescopes.
Notably, the evaporated atmosphere mimics the Earth – only rocks instead of water.
Extreme heat makes them rain – they are like particles of water.
Sodium, silicon monoxide, and silicon dioxide in K2-141b occur as the Earth’s water cycle evaporates, rising into the atmosphere, condensing, and falling as rain.
On Earth, rain flows back into the ocean, where it evaporates again and the water cycle repeats itself.
At K2-141b, supersonic winds and rocks “rain” down into a magma ocean at night, forming mineral vapor formed by evaporated rock.
The resulting current flows back to the hot day of the exoplanet, where the rock evaporates again.
However, scientists say that the cycle of K2-141b is not as stable as on Earth.
The return to the daytime part of the magma ocean is slow.
As a result, they predict that the mineral composition will change over time – eventually changing the surface and atmosphere of K2-141b.
Professor Cowan said: “All rocky planets, including Earth, began as molten worlds but quickly cooled and solidified. At this stage of planetary evolution, lava planets give us a rare view.”
The next step is to test whether these predictions are correct, scientists say. The team now has data from the Spitzer Space Telescope that should give a first-hand look at the day and night temperatures on the exoplanet.
With the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope in 2021, they will also be able to test whether the atmosphere is working as predicted.
Mr NUN added: “Next-generation space telescopes like James Webb can detect it hundreds of light years away.”
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