NASA Spitzer Space Telescope data has given scientists a first look into the conditions on the surface of a rocky exoplanet outside the solar system.
The planet LHS 3844b is located 48.6 light-years from Earth and has a 1.3 times the radius of the Earth after NASA. The exoplanet, orbiting a small star known as the M dwarf, was first discovered by NASA (Transiting Exoplanet Satellite Survey, TESS) in 2018.
One light year measures the distance in space and equals 6 trillion miles.
Recent research indicates that the surface of the mysterious planet may resemble the Earth's moon or Mercury, NASA said in a statement released on Monday. "The planet probably has little or no atmosphere and could be covered with the same cooled volcanic material found in the dark areas of the lunar surface called a mare," he explained.
The Infrared Spitzer Space Telescope was able to capture light from the surface of LHS 3844b. "The planet makes a full turn around its parent star in just 11 hours," NASA said in the statement. "With such a tight orbit, LHS 3844b is most likely 'tidal locked' when one side of a planet is permanently facing the star. The star-facing side or day-side has a temperature of 770 degrees Celsius.
The research study was published in the journal Nature.
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"We have many theories about how planetary atmospheres are about M-dwarves, but we could not study them empirically," said Laura Kreidberg. the lead author of the study and a researcher at the Harvard and Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the statement. "Now, with LHS 3844b, we have a planet outside our solar system where we can observe for the first time that there is no atmosphere."
TESS discovered the planet with the so-called "transit method". ", Where the dimming of a parent star is used to identify the transit of the objects orbiting it.
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The Spitzer Space Telescope studied the planet's surface thoughtfulness. "LHS 3844b seems to be the smallest planet that scientists have used light from on its surface to learn about its atmosphere (or lack thereof)," NASA said in its statement basalt or volcanic rock.
In 2017, NASA announced the discovery of seven Earth-sized planets orbiting the star TRAPPIST-1, which is nearly 40 light-years from Earth.
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In a separate project, scientists have probably discovered for the first time a black hole that swallows a neutron star.