NASA Captures Super Earth 50

Don't like to read?
NASA
Planet 55 Cancri e Courtesy of Kevin Gill (Flickr CC0)

NASA is preparing to have the first glimpse of Super-Earth 50, a planet like Hell of theological illustration, a sphere of continuous burning. NASA is considering studying this remarkable exoplanet in the Universe that epitomizes Hell on Earth.

The image captured by James Webb Space Telescope seems to be a red-hot ball of fire and lava. This planet is called 55 Cancri e, also regarded as a super-Earth.

On Thursday, NASA disseminated its goals to set up an exploration of 55 Cancri e and the LHS 3844 b, a cooler planet.

The planet 55 Cancri e is about 1/25 distance between the Sun and Mercury in our solar system and orbits 1.5 million miles from its star.

According to NASA, planet 55 Cancri e from the Spitzer Space Telescope revealed that the hottest region is offset from the part that directly faces the star. The amount of heat varies from the day side. The surface temperature is literally at the melting point as it is thought to be covered in lava.

The side of the planet facing the Sun is around 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit, hot enough to melt iron. “Nothing like it exists in our solar system,” said NASA.

Imagine if Earth were much, much closer to the Sun. So close that an entire year lasts only a few hours. So close that gravity has locked one hemisphere in permanent searing daylight and the other in endless darkness. So close that the oceans boil away, rocks begin to melt, and the clouds rain lava.

NASA
James Webb Space Telescope Courtesy of Kevin Gill (Wikimedia Creative Commons)

Renyu Hu of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said 55 Cancri e was found by researchers in 2004. The planet is eight times the Earth’s mass and twice its radius. The planet has a thick atmosphere dominated by nitrogen and oxygen.

Scientists hope to discover whether the planet is rotating, which would create day and night, or it is tidally locked with only one side facing the Sun.

The initial view of 55 Cancri from the Spitzer Space Telescope (NASA’s less powerful telescope), the planet’s hottest spot, is not the part facing its star. One of NASA’s theories is that the planet has a fiery atmosphere that moves the heat around.

Another hypothesis is that 55 Cancri e revolves creating day and night, with its surface heating up, melting, and vaporizing during the day.

The vapor would chill and crystallize at night, forming lava droplets that rain back to the surface by day and turn solid at night.

Planet 55 Cancri e, also known as Janssen, circumnavigates a Copernicus star 41 light-years away. The molten surface is entirely unlivable, but Galileo, Janssen’s sister planet, dangles in a dark sky beyond the blazing horizon. The atmosphere silicates would crystallize into clouds on the dark side of the tidally-locked planet, reflecting the lava below to illuminate the sky.

Written by Janet Grace Ortigas
Edited by Sheena Robertson

Sources:

Phys: Did NASA find Hell? Scientists brace for first glimpse of world that constantly burns; by Mark Price
Wion: Epitome of ‘hell on earth’: NASA to study unique exoplanet ’55 Cancri e’
ABC7: Scientists learning more about extremely-hot exoplanet ’55 Cancri e’ with help of new NASA telescope

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Kevin Gill’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License”
Inset Image Courtesy Kevin Gill’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.