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'Lava Planet' With 8.5-Hour Year

astronomy exoplanet nasa kepler space telescope planet-hunting

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#1 Hum

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 14:01

 Astronomers have discovered a hot Earth-size planet so close to its star that a year on that exoplanet lasts just 8.5 hours, making it one of the fastest alien planets ever seen.

The small orbital period — one of the shortest ever discovered for an alien planet among the worlds discovered by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope — means the planet is far outside what is considered the habitable zone of its star, where liquid water, and maybe life, could exist. In fact, scientists have described the new world as a so-called "lava planet."

The find, however, excites astronomers because the host star of the planet, called Kepler-78b, is bright enough for other telescopes to spot the world. This is a relieving note for the research team given that the Kepler Space Telescope's prime exoplanet mission officially ceased Thursday (Aug. 15), scientists said. The spacecraft had to cut its prime planet-hunting mission short when two of its orientation-controlling reaction wheels failed.

Kepler-78b is about 100 times closer to its star than the Earth is to the sun, and orbiting in a star system that is about 750 million years old — about six times younger than the solar system. The planet's surface bakes at an iron-melting temperature somewhere between 3,680 degrees Fahrenheit (2,026 degrees Celsius) and 5,120 degrees Fahrenheit (2,826 degrees Celsius).

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#2 FloatingFatMan

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 14:17

When are they going to start giving these planets less science-y names?  I vote they call this one Tartarus!



#3 psionicinversion

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 14:34

i think should call hotty melty planet



#4 francescob

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 14:38

The best place for playing "the floor is now lava".



#5 OP Hum

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 14:45

M&Ms Melted :p



#6 blade1269

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 18:31

Where's Darth Vader?

http://starwars.wiki...m/wiki/Mustafar

#7 OP Hum

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 01:07

I'm guessing this planet will eventually change orbit and become cooler.



#8 Dot Matrix

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 01:19

When are they going to start giving these planets less science-y names?  I vote they call this one Tartarus!

I vote for Proclarush.



#9 blade1269

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 06:13

Mustafar...

Has my vote...

#10 Aheer.R.S.

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 06:16

I vote to call it Char, That way the hottest alien in existence has a home :p



#11 The_Decryptor

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 07:22

8.5 hours? damn that's fast.

#12 BrainDedd

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 07:45

This thread reminds me of this:

exoplanet_names.png

http://xkcd.com/1253/



#13 Growled

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 19:00

Maybe they could call it Vulcan.



#14 arachnoid

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 19:12

  I vote they call this one Tartarus!

Nah Tarantulus

 

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#15 Charisma

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 19:14

I vote Eroticon Six.