NASA: A new planet discovered

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15539-exoplanet_newsNASA has discovered a new « Super-Earth ».

55 Cancri, this is the name of the last « Super-Earth » discovered by the NASA. This exoplanet is fully covered with lava according to the American space agency. Discovered for the first time in 2004, the planet is 40 light-years far away from Earth, and has a revolution around its star of 18 hours. However, it only faces the sun on one side because of their too close proximity. Only 1.5 million kilometers when the Earth is 100 times more distant from the Sun.  With a hot face with 2,700 Celsius degrees and a “cold” face at 1,400 Celsius degrees, this planet is a real furnace.
Even if a lot of exoplanets had already their temperature map, 55 Cancri is the first Super-Earth to be mapped. This category of exoplanets regroups all the rocky planets with a mass between once and 10 times the one of the Earth. Even if these planets are widespread in the Milky Way Galaxy, scientists know nothing about them.
To study this planet, the astronomers used the Spitzer Telescope. If finding exoplanets is hard, studying their temperature is another real difficulty.
Mickel Sauterau, IEJ 1 bis
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