Super-Earth likely a diamond planet 55 Cancri e

A Super-Earth likely a diamond planethas ben discovered by researchers at the Yale University. It’s about a rocky planet twice Earth’s size orbiting a nearby star.   llustration of 55 Cancri e, a super-Earth that’s thought to have a thick layer of diamond (Yale News/Haven Giguere)

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The exoplanet 55 Cancri e it is one of five planets orbiting a sun-like star, 55 Cancri, that is located 40 light years from Earth. Is more than twice Earth’s diameter and over eight times more massive, making it a so-called “super Earth. It’s the first Earth-sized exoplanet whose light was directly observed via the infrared capabilities of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope.

“This is our first glimpse of a rocky world with a fundamentally different chemistry from Earth,” said lead researcher Nikku Madhusudhan, a Yale postdoctoral researcher in physics and astronomy. “The surface of this planet is likely covered in graphite and diamond rather than water and granite.”

The planet orbits at hyper speed — its year lasts just 18 hours, in contrast to Earth’s 365 days. It is also blazingly hot, with a temperature of about 3,900 degrees Fahrenheit, researchers said, a far cry from a habitable world.

55 Cancri e sky map



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