Planet with the Earth-like density but with too closeness to its star

Artist's concept of a planet (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Main Point:

Scientists have found a planet that is almost similar to Earth in size and contents but with too much closeness to its star that we can’t even imagine the known form of life to live at that temperature.

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This newly discovered exoplanet is Kepler-78b and has been found by using NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope. Kepler-78b is present in the Cygnus constellation.

Kepler-78b is present too close to its star that its temperature is thought to be at about 2,000 degrees. This planet completes its orbit around the sun in every 8.5 hours. This proximity shows that the planet would be eaten by the star in the next few billion years that is a short time in terms of astronomy.

Density of the planet shows that it is composed of rock and iron just like our Earth. Scientists estimated the planet’s mass and found that it is slightly bigger than Earth, i.e. 20% larger, and is about 70% more massive than the mass of our dear planet, i.e. Earth.

“We report that the mass of this planet is 1.86 Earth masses. The resulting mean density of the planet is 5.57 g cm−3, which is similar to that of the Earth and implies a composition of iron and rock,” Researchers wrote in one study. The other study also reported nearly the same density of the planet, i.e. 5.3 ± 1.8 g cm−3.

“Recent analyses of data from the NASA Kepler spacecraft have established that planets with radii within 25 per cent of the Earth’s are commonplace throughout the Galaxy, orbiting at least 16.5 per cent of Sun-like stars,” Researchers reported in a study.


Andrew W. Howard et al. (2013). A rocky composition for an Earth-sized exoplanet Nature DOI: 10.1038/nature12767

Francesco Pepe et al. (2013). An Earth-sized planet with an Earth-like density Nature DOI: 10.1038/nature12768

Usman Zafar Paracha

Usman Zafar Paracha is a sort of entrepreneur. He is the author of "Color Atlas of Statistics", and the owner of an Android game "Faily Rocket."

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