The discovery of a “featherweight” exoplanet whose year lasts 8 hours

Scientists have discovered a rather strange exoplanet they have called a “featherweight” planet. Its mass is half the mass of the Earth. And most surprisingly, a year on the planet does not last 365 days, but only 8 hours.

After discovering an exoplanet in another galaxy by observing X-rays, scientists have now discovered a small, strange “very light” exoplanet. As a reminder, an exoplanet is a planet outside the solar system. The new exoplanet GJ 367b has a mass half that of Earth. What is more, A year on this planet lasts only 8 hours And not 365 days.

Illustration of exoplanet GJ 367b – Credit: SPP 1992 (Patricia Klein)

According to scientists, GJ 367b is not a gaseous planet like Jupiter or Saturn, but rocky planet. Astronomer Christine Lamm from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) explained: It appears to have similarities with Mercury. This places it among the terrestrial planets the size of Earth and pushes us forward in the search for a “second Earth”. ».

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GJ 367b is one of the lightest exoplanets discovered so far

In their study published in the journal ScienceScientists call the exoplanet GJ 367b a planet. Lightweight Thus, GJ 367b is one of the lightest exoplanets ever discovered out of nearly 5,000 planets that have been recorded. It is located in 31 light years from Earth It is slightly larger than the diameter of Mars.

Scientists discovered this exoplanet using NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Telescope (TESS). they used transit method to discover it. This method consists in detecting a planet when it passes between us and its star since the planet’s light has diminished. With respect to GJ 367b, it is about a red dwarf star.

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Finally, the eight-hour year on this planet means that its orbit is very close to its star. As a result, GJ 367b is constantly exposed to intense radiation Maximum temperatures on its surface. According to the DLR, ” The discovery shows that it is possible to accurately determine the characteristics of smaller and less massive exoplanets. Studies like this provide a key to understanding how terrestrial planets formed and evolved ».

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Source : cnet

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