Jul 12

Nearby Magma Exoplanet is Smaller Than Earth

Source: Universe Today

Artist’s concept that shows what astronomers believe
is an alien world just two-thirds the size of Earth.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Astronomers have detected what could be one of the smallest exoplanets found so far, just two-thirds the size of Earth. And, cosmically speaking, it’s in our neighborhood, at just 33 light-years away. But this planet, called UCF-1.01, is not a world most Earthlings would enjoy visiting: it likely is covered in magma.

“We have found strong evidence for a very small, very hot and very near planet with the help of the Spitzer Space Telescope,” said Kevin Stevenson from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, lead author of a new paper in The Astrophysical Journal. “Identifying nearby small planets such as UCF-1.01 may one day lead to their characterization using future instruments.” (read more)

Twitter del.icio.us Digg Facebook linked-in Yahoo Buzz StumbleUpon