We often wonder whether there is a life in worlds other than our planet Earth and even scientists are involved in years of research to find habitable places in space. While many things in space remain mysterious, some notable discoveries have also been made by our scientists.
A recent study about an exoplanet named K2-141b, which is 202 light-years away from Earth, has revealed that it has oceans of lava all over it and it rains rocks on this place, making it hot, inhospitable and hellish.
The oceans and the atmosphere of the exoplanet are all made of rocks of different kinds, according to the study.
Unlike Earth, which is home to oceans and ice glaciers, the K2-141b has 100km deep magma-filled oceans and rock glaciers. According to scientists, unlike Earth which has a water cycle, the exoplanet has a rock cycle, which could mean that it rains rocks on it.
One notable fact is that the planet orbits too close to its Sun. It completes one round around its Sun in about seven hour. Two-third of the planet is always exposed to sunlight, which results in temperatures soaring up to 3,000 degree Celsius. This is why the rocks can be melted and even vapurised there.
“The study is the first to make predictions about weather conditions on K2-141b that can be detected from hundreds of light-years away with next-generation telescopes such as the James Webb Space Telescope,” said Giang Nguyen, the lead author at York University who did research under the supervision of McGill University Professor Nicolas Cowan on the study.
One-third of the K2-141b’s temperature drops as low as -200 degree Celsius, again revealing the planet’s extreme nature, while supersonic winds blow at 5,000 kmph.
“All rocky planets, including Earth, started off as molten worlds but then rapidly cooled and solidified. Lava planets give us a rare glimpse at this stage of planetary evolution,” says Professor Cowan of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.
The current data on the planet was shared by the Spitzer Space Telescope, which provided an insight into the exoplanet’s temperatures on both the sides.