Small, Hot World Spotted Around Nearby Red Dwarf!

July 21, 2012 at 5:53 PM (astronomy topics, curious research, current news, extraterrestrial studies, science and technology, web gossip)

Yet another alluring announcement has been made, regarding revelations of what is being seen through studies of outer space.  Exoplanets are seeming to be discovered regularly, and one of the latest finds is sparking interest because of it’s size.  It has not been often that small planets outside of the solar system are spotted!

This world is recognized as being two-thirds as large as our Earth.  Titled UCF-1.01, this planet is situated thirty-three light years from our world.  It orbits a red dwarf star, GJ 436 (Gliese 436).  Scientists working with Spitzer Space Telescope were able to locate this world through observations made of that area of our galaxy. 

UCF 1.01, was found while astronomers at The University of Central Florida were observing the exoplanet GJ 436b with The Spitzer Space Telescope.  The planets both belong to the same solar system.  It was stumbled upon when the researchers were reviewing Gliese 436, getting information about the levels of carbon monoxide and methane on that extrasolar planet. 

Reviews of UCF 1.01 show that it is a rocky planet, seemingly similar to Mars.  This world is roughly thirty-three light years away from us.  It is not likely that this world can support life, as it orbits GJ 436 at a distance that is closer to that star than Mercury is to The Sun!  The heat is far too extreme, and the planet is covered in piping-hot magma!

UCF-1.01 rushes around GJ 436 at a rate of once every 1.4 Earth-length days.  It is so close to it’s host star that it’s surface temperature is estimated to be near to an average of 1,000 degrees, Fahrenheit!  It can not support an atmosphere because of this close range to GJ 436.  Yet, additonal observations are occurring currently, to verify the existence of the neighbor world to UCF-1.01, currently being dubbed UCF 1.02!


Artistic depiction of UCF-1.01




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