Scientists have discovered one of the smallest and most mineralized exoplanets ever discovered (and it’s not too far from Earth)

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3 dic 2021 00:13 GMT

Experts haven’t figured out what it might look like, but they believe their discovery is important in the search for a “second Earth”.

A team of astronomers has discovered one of the smallest and most mineralized exoplanets known to date: an iron-rich world, located in 31 light years from Earth It orbits its star once every eight hours.

named GJ 367b, is slightly larger than Mars, but has a density roughly equal to that of pure iron. It is the smallest exoplanet that scientists have been able to determine its composition, according to astronomer Christine Lamm of the German Aerospace Center’s Institute for Planetary Research. She and her colleagues published the finding on December 2 in the journal Science.

Astronomers haven’t yet figured out how this planet might have formed, but they think their discovery is important. “It seems that he has Similarities with Mercury. This places it among the terrestrial or rocky planets smaller than Earth and takes the investigation one step further in the search for “Second Earth”“, claimed blue.

GJ 367b has a scorching temperature, which remains between 1300 and 1500 degrees Celsius During the day, making it completely uninhabitable. Similarly, the research team was able to establish that its diameter is just over 9,000 km, with a diameter of Density 8.106 grams per cubic centimeter. In a similar unit of measurement, Earth has a density of 5.51, while iron has a density of 7.874 grams at room temperature.

This discovery “also reveals our ability to measure the mass of minor planets less than Earth.” claimed David Armstrong, an astronomer at the University of Warwick in Coventry, UK. “Being able to observe these types of planets, even though they are many light years away from us, is amazing and It promises many discoveries of similar planets down to earth in the future.

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