A team of astronomers has recently discovered what they call the furthest and the hottest new planet. According to the scientists, the planet is at a distance of approximately 40 light years away from our Planet.
But the strangest thing about the newly discovered planet is that its temperature is between 1,800 and 4,900 degrees Fahrenheit.
This oscillation in temperature takes place over a period of two years, a phenomenon which puzzles the scientists because they don’t have a plausible explanation for it, yet.
Nikku Madhusudhan, a researcher from the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge University, explained that this is the first time astronomers have witnessed such drastic changes in light coming from an exoplanet.
The scientist said that this is something out of the ordinary for a super-Earth planet.
According to Madhusudhan, this is the first time the astronomers detect any signature of thermal emissions or surface activity coming from a super-Earth.
Brice-Olivier Demory, a scientist at the Brice-Olivier Demory from the Cambridge University Cavendish Laboratory, said that the researchers witnessed a 300% change in the signal emitted by the new planet.
Demory added that this the first time they have spotted such a huge level of variability coming from an exoplanet.
Although the scientists are not 100% sure what causes this variability, one of their theories is that the planet has a large scale surface activity, such as volcanic activity.
This causes the planet to erupt in massive volumes of dust and gas, which sometimes cover the thermal emission of the planet, making it invisible from Earth.
The scientists who spotted the new planet said that their discovery challenge what they call “the diamond planet”.
The astronomers explain that the newly found planet could be very rich in carbon, but they are not completely sure about it.
Previous theories regarding this planet suggest that it could be made of water. However, recent discoveries, like the variability of the exoplanet is something that scientists have never encountered before, that is why they cannot come up with a conventional theory about it.
Furthermore, the scientists say that this is actually one of the exciting things about science: they can encounter clues from the most unexpected sources.
The recent discoveries open a new chapter in the scientists’ ability to study the conditions of the rocky exoplanets. The astronomers can study it using the current telescopes, as well as new ones.
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