Scientists discover Mercury-like exoplanet where a year is only eight hours long
DLR Institute of Planetary Research.
new exoplanet‘GJ 367 b’ has been discovered where a year amounts to only eight years.
- It’s believed to be a rocky planet like Mercury and has just half the mass of Earth.
- GJ 367 b also belongs to the ‘ultra-short period’ (USP) group of exoplanets that orbit their star in less than 24 hours.
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Planet GJ 367b was discovered by scientists at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute of Planetary Research. This planet is said to be featherweight as it has just half the mass of Earth. It’s also expected to be one of the lightest among the almost 5,000 exoplanets discovered so far. It has a diameter of just over 9,000 kilometers making it slightly larger than Mars.
Since it takes the
"It seems to have similarities to Mercury. This places it among the sub-Earth sized terrestrial planets and brings research one step forward in the search for a 'second Earth'," said astronomer Kristin Lam in a statement.
Upon researching the planet, GJ 367b was found to be a low-mass rocky planet which is more dense than earth and with properties similar to those of Mercury. The planet’s proximity also reveals that it’s exposed to high levels of radiation, 500 times more than what the Earth experiences. This also means that the surface temperature on GJ 367b could reach up to 1500 degrees Celsius which not only makes living here impossible for humans but rocks and metals would also easily be melted.
In terms of the distance from Earth, planet GJ 367b is 31 light years which according to the scientists makes it ideal for further investigation. This discovery also expands the capabilities of finding out more about exoplanets, even those that could be the smallest and the least massive exoplanets.
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