NASA will use the Webb telescope to reveal the true face of the ‘super-Earth’, the surface is covered with hot lava
(taken from NASA Facebook fan page)
NASA has said it expects to reveal the true face of the “super-Earth” 55 Cancri e with the James Webb Space Telescope in the “coming weeks.”
Previously, NASA used the Spitzer Space Telescope to discover this “super-Earth” covered with lava, which is located in the Cancer constellation, because it is a rocky planet like the earth, but the surface is covered with lava, which astronomers call it “Super hot super-Earth”.
55 Cancri e is twice the size of Earth and eight times as massive as Earth. It is about 50 light-years away from Earth and less than 2.4 million kilometers away from its orbiting sun-like star. That’s only 1/25 the distance between the Sun and Mercury. To be clear, the average temperature of Mercury is 178 degrees Celsius.
55 Cancri e orbits the star in just 18 hours, compared to the 365 days Earth takes to orbit the sun.
“Because the planet’s surface temperature is much higher than the melting point of typical rock-forming minerals, scientists generally believe that the planet’s day face is covered with lava oceans,” NASA said of 55 Cancri e.
“Imagine if the Earth were closer and closer to the sun,” NASA added, “so close to its parent star that a full year lasts only a few hours that gravity pulls the planet toward it. One hemisphere is permanently fixed in the scorching stellar light, while the other is in endless darkness.” “So close to the parent star that the oceans boil, the rocks begin to melt, and it rains lava.”
NASA describes “super-Earths” as a class of “planets unlike any in our solar system.” “Larger than Earth, but lighter than ice giants like Neptune and Uranus, and can be made of gas, rock, or a combination of both, these types of planets are typically twice Earth’s volume and even 10 times as massive. “
Initial observations by the Spitzer Space Telescope showed that the hottest spot on 55 Cancri e is not necessarily on the side facing the star.
NASA scientists have come up with a theory that this is because the planet has a dynamic atmosphere that moves heat around; another theory is that the planet’s rotation also creates day and night, so its surface will be exposed during the day. Heating, melting, and even evaporating to form a very thin atmosphere that the Webb Space Telescope can detect, at night the vapor cools and condenses into lava droplets before falling back to the surface, solid again as night falls.
This article is published under the authorization of Pinwan. The original title is “NASA will use the Webb telescope to reveal the true face of the “super-Earth”, the surface is covered with hot lava”