Scientists have discovered a bizarre hellish planet in which rainy rocks and oceans are made of lava.

Scientists have discovered a bizarre hellish planet in which rainy rocks and oceans are made of lava.

If you thought living on Earth in 2020 was like hell, then planet K2-141b is here to prove you are wrong.

On a hot planet hundreds of light-years away, the sea is made of molten lava, the wind reaches supersonic speed, and the rain is made of rock. Scientists have mentioned something bizarre. Hellish alien planet It is one of the most “extreme” ever found.

According to a new study published in Monthly announcement from the Royal Astronomical Society, McGill University, York University and Indian Institute of Science Education scientists have discovered details about one of the latest “lava planets,” which are made up of a lava ocean that orbits the host star so closely that most of it flows.

Scientists believe that the atmosphere and weather cycle of K2-141b Especially bizarre. that much Earth-sized alien planet It appears that the surface, sea and atmosphere are all made of the same composition-rocks.

“This is the first to make predictions about the weather conditions of K2-141b that can be detected hundreds of light-years away with next-generation telescopes such as the James Webb space telescope,” said lead author Giang Nguyen. press release this week.

lava-planet-4x3-ppt.jpg
The artist’s impression of the lava planet K2-141b. In the center of a large illuminated area is a sea of ​​molten rock covered in a rocky vapor atmosphere. The supersonic wind blows towards a cold, airy night, condensing into rocky rain and snow, slowly flowing into the hottest areas of the magma sea.

Julie Roussy, McGill Graphic Design and Getty Images


While analyzing the planet’s lighting patterns, scientists found that about two-thirds of the planets experience eternal daylight. K2-141b approaches the star and is held in place by gravity. In other words, the same side is always facing the stars.

This hot part of the planet reaches temperatures above 5,400 degrees Fahrenheit. It is hot enough to not only melt the rock but also vaporize it, creating a thin, desolate atmosphere.

Co-author Nicolas Cowan said, “Our findings mean that the atmosphere extends slightly beyond the shores of the Magma Sea, making it easy to spot with a space telescope.

The rest of the planet is concealed in endless darkness, reaching a harsh temperature of minus 328 degrees Fahrenheit.

In the Earth’s water cycle, water evaporates, rises to the atmosphere, then condenses and returns to the surface as rain. Now imagine the process, but instead of water K2-141b has only rocks to work with.

The sodium, silicon monoxide and silicon dioxide in K2-141b evaporate and turn into mineral vapors, which are carried by supersonic winds over 3,100 miles per hour to the dark side of the planet. From there, the rock “rains” into the 60-mile-deep magma sea and flows onto the bright side to resume circulation.

However, this cycle is not as stable as the cycle on Earth, scientists said. The flow of the magma sea from night to day is slower. Researchers predict that the mineral composition will change over time, eventually completely changing the planet’s surface and atmosphere.

“All rocky planets, including Earth, started out as molten worlds, but they quickly cooled and hardened. Lava planets are rare in this phase of planetary evolution,” Cowan said.

Scientists hope to further validate their observations when expectations are high. James webb space telescope Released in 2021.

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