Signals from Planet Hell Make Astronomers on Earth Confused Tech – 5 hours ago

Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – The mystery of planet 55 Cancri e has long puzzled astronomers. The signals originating from the “hell planet” come and go and cannot be explained.

Planet 55 Cancri e has a mass eight times that of Earth. When it was discovered in 2004, astronomers named it as one of the so-called super Earths, namely rocky planets that are much larger than Earth.

Only part of the surface of the planet 55 Cancri e faces the star, namely 55 Cancri A. One side of the planet is thought to have melted due to the star’s radiant heat. However, even the side that is never exposed to starlight is estimated to have a temperature of 1,100 degrees Celsius.

Astronomers observe the atmospheres of planets, including “hell planets,” as they pass between observation points on Earth and the stars they orbit. Elements in a planet’s atmosphere can be identified by observing light from nearby stars.

Observers on Earth then differentiate the light emitted when the planet is visible from the light when the planet is not visible. The difference in light waves captured in these two different states indicates the gas in the atomosphere of a planet.

The star orbited by the hellish planet, 55 Cancri A, is a K-type star, which is a little cooler than the Sun. However, its very close proximity to the planet makes 55 Cancri e difficult to observe.

The result is confusion among astronomers. Planet 55 Cancri e circles the star every 18 hours. Several teams of astronomers reported the discovery of hydrogen cyanide and nitrogen. However, other astronomers did not find hydrogen. Some claim there is no gas on the planet.

In a research report written by Kevin Heng from Ludwig Maximilian University, researchers tried to explain the differences in astronomers’ observations.

Heng estimates there is gas stored beneath the surface of 55 Cancri e. This gas is sometimes ejected, creating a temporary atmosphere.

On a planet that is “hot as hell”, gases move very quickly. With the push of the stellar wind, which is a burst of gas from the star’s atomosphere, molecules easily “escape” from the planet’s gravity.

This theory can be tested through observation. The method is to observe light waves and infrared waves from 55 Cancri e at the same time. If correct, both waves would detect the atmosphere.

[Gambas:Video CNBC]

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