Sign up for CNN’s Wonder Theory science newsletter. Explore the universe with news of amazing discoveries, scientific advances and more.
The exoplanet 55 Cancri e has several names The rocky world located 40 light years from Earth is the most famous for its reputation as the “Planet of Hell”.
This giant Earth, so called because it is a rocky planet eight times the mass of Earth and twice as wide, and so hot it contains seas of lava melt to the surface at 3,600°F (1,982°C).
The interior of the exoplanet could also be filled with diamonds.
The planet is quite as hot as it once was compared to star wars lava world yellowishthe site of the battle between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Revenge of the Sith”, and where Darth Vader later established his stronghold, Fortress Vader.
The planet, officially named Janssen but also referred to as 55 Cancri e or 55 Cnc e, orbits its host star Copernicus so closely that the busy world completes one orbit in less than an Earth day. A year for this planet lasts about 17.5 Earth hours.
Its extremely tight orbit is why Jansen is so hot, so close, that astronomers have questioned the possibility of a planet practically hugging its host star.
Astronomers have wondered whether a planet is always this close to its star.
A team of researchers has used a new instrument known as EXPRES, or the EXtreme PREcision Spectrometer, to determine the exact nature of the planet’s orbit. These discoveries could help astronomers gain new insights into planet formation and how these celestial bodies evolve orbit.
The tool was developed at Yale by a team led by by astronomer Debra Fisher and installed in the Lowell Discovery Telescope at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. The spectrometer was able to measure tiny shifts in the light from the star Copernicus as Jansen moves between our planet and the star, such as when the moon blocks out the sun during a solar eclipse.
The researchers determined that Jansen orbits the star’s equator. But Hell wasn’t the only planet orbiting Copernicus. Four other planets in different orbits inhabit the star system.
Astronomers believe Jansen’s eccentric orbit indicates that the planet initially started out in a cooler, more distant orbit before closing in on Copernicus. Then, the gravitational pull of the star’s equator changed Jansen’s orbit.
Magazine natural astronomy A study detailing the findings was released on Thursday.
“Astronomers speculate that this planet formed far away and then crashed into its current orbit,” Fisher, the study’s senior author and Eugene Higgins professor of astronomy at Yale University, said in a statement. “These flights can eject planets from the star’s equatorial plane, but these results show that the planet is very dense.”
Despite the fact that Jansen wasn’t always close to its star, the astronomers concluded that the exoplanet was always hot.
“The planet is likely so hot that nothing we know about will be able to survive on the surface,” study lead author Lily Zhao, a research scientist at New York’s Center for Computational Astrophysics at the Flatiron Institute, said in a statement. .
Once Jansen approached Copernicus, the planet Hell It gets hotter.
Our solar system is flat as a pancake, with all planets orbiting the sun in a flat plane because they all formed from the same disk of gas and dust that once orbited the sun.
When astronomers study other planetary systems, they find that many of them do not host planets orbiting a single plane, which raises questions about how unique our solar system is in the universe.
This type of data can provide more insight into how planets and Earth-like environments exist in the universe.
“We hope to find planetary systems similar to our own and better understand the systems we already know about,” Zhao said.
The main objective of the EXPRES tool is to find Earth-like planets.
“Our accuracy with EXPRES today is more than 1,000 times better than we had 25 years ago, when I started out as a planet hunter,” said Fisher. “Improving the accuracy of measurements has been a major focus of my career as it allows us to detect smaller planets when looking for Earth analogues.”