A new planet was discovered that is similar to Earth in size and composition, meaning it has a rocky surface and an iron core. But that is where similarities end. This twin, named Kepler-78b, has an orbit so close to its parent star, that the surface is about 2,000 degrees hotter than Earth’s. The planet’s orbit around the star takes only 8.5 hours, instead Earth’s 12 month orbit. Located 400 light years away from Earth in the constellation Cyngus, this hellish Earth shouldn’t exist. For a planet only 20% larger than Earth with such a small orbit, astronomers can’t figure out how it was formed. There is no way this planet could have evolved so close to the star, nor could it have evolved further out and migrated inward. One thing is for sure: Kepler won’t last long. Astronomers guess that in about 3 billion years, Kepler will succumb to the pull of the star’s gravity and be torn apart.

A new planet was discovered that is similar to Earth in size and composition, meaning it has a rocky surface and an iron core. But that is where similarities end. This twin, named Kepler-78b, has an orbit so close to its parent star, that the surface is about 2,000 degrees hotter than Earth’s. The planet’s orbit around the star takes only 8.5 hours, instead Earth’s 12 month orbit. Located 400 light years away from Earth in the constellation Cyngus, this hellish Earth shouldn’t exist. For a planet only 20% larger than Earth with such a small orbit, astronomers can’t figure out how it was formed. There is no way this planet could have evolved so close to the star, nor could it have evolved further out and migrated inward. One thing is for sure: Kepler won’t last long. Astronomers guess that in about 3 billion years, Kepler will succumb to the pull of the star’s gravity and be torn apart.


Posted 8 months ago with 3 notes
Tagged:spacescienceplanetsexoplanetsearthsunstarskeplercyngus

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