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Lava-covered planet Kepler 78b discovered with 8.5 hour year

Lava-covered planet Kepler 78b discovered with 8.5 hour year

AN EARTH-sized planet covered in molten lava has been discovered, 700 light-years away.

Scientists at MIT have found the planet, named Kepler 78b, which is so close to its host star that its entire orbit only takes 8.5 hours - one of the shortest ever found.

The researchers believe the surface temperature of the planet could be as high as 3000 degrees Kelvin, which is about 2700 degrees Celsius.

They say the top layer of the planet is likely to be an ocean of lava, and scientists can also detect light coming from the planet.

Physics graduate student Roberto Sanchis-Ojeda was on the team anaylising light data from stars, looking for indications of planets.

 

"I was just looking by eye, and all of a sudden I see this extra drop of light right when it was expected, and it was really beautiful," he said.

"I thought, we're actually seeing the light from the planet. It was a really exciting moment."

 
 
 
 
 
 

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