The discovery of an atmosphere-containing rocky planet has finally been detected by astronomers

The discovery of an atmosphere-containing rocky planet has finally been detected by astronomers

This undated NASA visual shows an artist’s concept of the exoplanet 55 Cancri e, also known as Janssen, a rocky planet that is much larger than Earth but smaller than Neptune, and the star it circles. It is known as a “super-Earth.”

For years, astronomers have looked for rocky planets outside of our solar system that have an atmosphere, which is believed to be a necessary component for any chance of supporting life. Evidently, they have finally found one. However, there is little chance that this terrible planet-which appears to have molten rock on its surface-will ever be habitable.

This planet, which is a rocky world larger than Earth but smaller than Neptune, is referred described as a “super-Earth” by scientists on Wednesday. It rapidly completes an orbit in eighteen hours or so, orbiting a star that is slightly less massive and dimmer than our sun.

The James Webb Space Telescope’s infrared examines with two instruments revealed the existence of a major, though hostile, atmosphere that may be continuously filled by gases expelled from a massive ocean of magma.

“Carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide make up the majority of the atmosphere, although other gases like sulfur dioxide and water vapor may also be present. The lead author of the study published in the journal Nature, Renyu Hu, a planetary scientist from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Caltech, stated that the precise composition of the atmosphere cannot be determined from the present measurements.

The atmosphere’s thickness was also unclear from the Webb data. Hu claimed that it might be just as thick as Earth’s or even thicker than Venus’s, the planet with the densest poisonous atmosphere in our solar system.

The planet, known as Janssen or 55 Cancri e, has a diameter that is roughly twice that of Earth and is 8.8 times more massive than Earth. It orbits its star at a distance one-fifth that of Mercury, the innermost planet in our solar system, from the sun. Therefore, the temperature at its surface is around 3,140 degrees Fahrenheit (1,725 degrees Celsius/2,000 degrees Kelvin).

Astrophysicist and study co-author Brice-Olivier Demory of the University of Bern’s Center for Space and Habitability in Switzerland said, “In fact, this is one of the hottest-known rocky exoplanets,” using the name for planets outside of our solar system. “There are likely better places for a vacation spot in our galaxy.”

The planet is most likely tidally locked, which means that, like the moon toward Earth, it always faces the same direction toward its star. The planet is situated in the constellation Cancer, approximately 41 light-years from Earth, within our Milky Way galaxy. The distance that light travels in a year is 5.9 trillion miles (9.5 trillion kilometers), or one light year. There are known orbits of four other planets, all gas giants, around its home star.

In a binary system, the star is gravitationally linked to another star. The other is a red dwarf, which is the smallest type of regular star. It takes six days for light to travel between these companions, which are 1,000 times further apart than Earth is from the sun.

The hard exoplanet for which scientists eventually discovered indications of an atmosphere after much searching turned out to be one that undoubtedly shouldn’t even have one. Any atmosphere should be annihilated by winds and stellar radiation because it is so near to its star. Hu noted that however, gases dissolved in the massive ocean of lava believed to cover the planet might continue to bubble up to replenish the atmosphere.

Hu declared, “The planet cannot support life because it is too hot to support liquid water, which is thought to be a necessary component of life.”

Previously discovered exoplanets with atmospheres were all gaseous, not rocky, planets. The discovery of a rocky exoplanet with an atmosphere signifies advancement as Webb continues to push the boundaries of exoplanet exploration.

The atmosphere of Earth provides protection from solar radiation, friendliness, oxygen for human living, and the pressure required for liquid water to stay on the planet’s surface.

“The atmosphere is essential to life on Earth,” Demory stated. “This finding on 55 Cnc e raises the possibility that Webb could carry out comparable research on planets that are far cooler than 55 Cnc e and may have liquid water on their surfaces. But we haven’t arrived yet.”

Topics #atmosphere #Discovery #Earth #Galaxy #James Webb #James Webb telescope #moon #NASA #New Planet #news #Planet #Solar System #space #Sun #Universe

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