Scientists Discover Massive Exoplanet, A ‘Hulk’ Among Super-Earths


Scientists Discover Massive Exoplanet, A 'Hulk' Among Super-Earths

The exoplanet is covered in molten lava, said NASA.

Astronomers have discovered a gigantic exoplanet just 200 light years away from Earth, according to a report in space.com. Named TOI-1075b, the celestial object is around 1.8 times the radius of Earth, the outlet further said. An exoplanet is a planet that lies outside the solar system. The massive super-Earth was discovered by American space agency NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) spacecraft. The mass of TOI-1075b is nearly 10 times that of Earth’s and is believed to be rocky, like Mercury, Earth and Venus etc.

“New data shows that TOI-1075 b is one of the most massive super-Earths discovered so far,” NASA officials wrote while anounncing the discovery on the agency’s website on November 8.

The exoplanet is covered in molten lava as it has a superheated surface of about 1,922 degrees Fahrenheit (1,050 degrees Celsius). The reason for this is the exoplanet’s proximity to its parent star, a small, red-orange star, the agency further said.

The exoplanet also has an ultra-short orbit – of about 14.5 hours.

“Super-Earths the size of TOI-1075 b, models suggest, normally would be expected to have a fairly thick atmosphere of hydrogen and helium. But this planet’s dense composition and scorchingly tight orbit make such an atmosphere unlikely,” NASA further said about the discovery.

“That makes TOI-1075 b a “keystone planet” – among only a few others so far with precise enough measurements of size and mass to help scientists fine-tune their models of planet formation,” it added.

If TOI-1075b were close to Earth and humans could visit, they would experience significant weight gain. “You’d be about three times your weight on Earth,” said NASA.

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