Astronomers have discovered a planet where conditions are so extreme that rock evaporates and winds are faster than sound. The planet has also filled 100 kilometers deep oceans with magma. American astronomers write that in the trade journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Exoplanet K2-141b is very close to its star and about two thirds of the exoplanet always points to that star. On this side it is on average about 3,000 degrees Celsius, while on the night side it is -200 degrees. On the exposed side, rock can melt and even evaporate.
Due to the strong temperature difference between the night and the day side, there are strong winds on K2-141b. These winds reach speeds of 5,000 kilometers per hour. This is faster than sound, which travels an average of 1,194 kilometers per hour.
These winds drag the clouds of evaporated rock to the cold side of the celestial body, where the clouds evaporate and the rock rains. The rock rain then descends into oceans of magma, which flow to the hot side of the planet, where rock evaporates again and the cycle starts again.
In principle, this planet has a rain cycle that is reminiscent of how rain occurs on Earth, only with rock instead of water.