21 January 2012

Exoplanets: Super Earth - Super Hot - Supercritical fluid world?

A. I. of 55 Cancri e with Earth in front credit: NASA
A new look at an alien planet that orbits extremely close to its parent star suggests that the rocky world might not be a scorching hot wasteland, as was thought.
In fact, the planet may actually be stranger and wetter than astronomers ever imagined.

The exotic planet 55 Cancri e is a relatively close alien planet, just 40 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Cancer (The Crab).

55 Cancri e is part of a multiplanet system that was first detected in 1997. Five planets circle the host star, and 55 Cancri e was discovered in 2004.

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