Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Heard of puffed rice, right? How about a "puffed" planet....

NASA's Kepler space telescope, to date, had discovered a whole slew of planets orbiting around other stars.  The most recent of which is likely to be one of the strangest.  Located 200 light-years away, planet KOI-314c orbits it's primary, a red dwarf star, in 23 days.  KOI-314c's mass however is very close to that of Earth's but the weird thing is the planet's atmosphere which makes the planet appear 60% larger than Earth. 

Since the orbital period is only 23 days, the planet's  atmosphere is about 220 degrees Fahrenheit, above the boiling point of water, which makes life as we know it moot. 

Discovery of Earth sized exo-planets are extremely difficult especially if they are close in to their primary.  Read the Discovery article HERE for the complete explanation of the method used.

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