If you thought 2020 was making life on Earth difficult, wait till you hear about a literal hell planet. Scientists have recently discovered a ‘hell planet’ 200 light-years away from Earth that has winds of more than 3,000 mph and surface temperatures over 2760 Celsius.
Researchers from McGill and York University have found some of the most extreme conditions in the universe on a planet named K2-141b, where lava seas as deep as 60 miles exist.
The scientists were first to predict the weather on the rocky planet, which was first discovered by the Kepler Space Telescope in 2018.
The one side of the planet always faces its host star which results in endless daylight and soaring temperatures that are hot enough to vaporise its rocks. The other side that faces away from the star has a temperature as cold as -200 degree Celsius which freezes nitrogen. The drastic difference in temperature results in the intense 3,000 mph winds that blow across the planet.
This planet is categorised as a ‘super-earth’. It is a kind of planet not found in the solar system. The planet is about five times the size of Earth but takes just seven hours to orbit its star. K2-141b orbits 665,000 miles from its orange dwarf host star. In comparison, the Solar System’s Mercury orbits an average of 36 million miles from the Sun.
According to Daily Mail, Giang Nguyen, the lead author of this study and a PhD student, said the smouldering planet has a surface, ocean and atmosphere that are all made up of rocks. It also includes molten lava and falling stones.
The scientists created a series of computer simulations to predict the weather on the extreme example of an ‘Earth-like’ planet. The exoplanet comes under a subset of rocky planets that orbit very close to their star which explains the extreme conditions that may change the surface.