Earth-Sized Exoplanet Is An Uninhabitable World Of Lava

Wednesday, 30 October 2013 - 3:20PM
Earth
Astrobiology
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 - 3:20PM
Earth-Sized Exoplanet Is An Uninhabitable World Of Lava

Astronomers have just discovered the first Earth-sized exoplanet to have a similar rocky make-up to that of Earth. Kepler 78b, as the exoplanet is known, even has the added benefit of orbiting a star that is only slightly less massive than that of our own sun. So is that it? Have astronomers finally discovered a candidate for 'Earth Mark 2'? No, not quite...

 

While Kepler 78b ticks a number of boxes that haven't all been ticked by one planet before, it fails in one rather important category. Kepler 78b is hotter than a McDonalds Apple Pie fresh out of the oven. Hotter, even, than a pitta pocket straight out of the toaster. Kepler 78b is an uninhabitable inferno, orbiting its sun approximately once every 8 hours. Its surface is thought to be made up almost entirely of molten rock, bubbling away at temperatures so high you'll be break into a sweat just thinking about it.

 

Located in the Cygnus constellation, some 400 light years away, Kepler 78b was discovered by NASA astronomers and has since been confirmed by a number of independent observatories. You can read more about this strange fireball planet right here

Science
Space
Earth
Astrobiology