It’s got hellish ground: NASA finds Earth-sized planet covered in volcanoes

It was found using the Transiting Exoplanet Survey satellite, the Spitzer Space Telescope and other ground-based telescopes.Credits: Adobe Stock

recently a stellar new discovery shocked to the astronomical community, GOOD an exoplanet the size of the To land could be covered in volcanoes. Specialists have found what they would believe a twin star to our house, but the ground of this place is extremely hellish, and what what is most lacking is life. They decided to call it LP 791-18 d, and its surface is believed to harbor volcanic terrain that can experience catastrophic eruptions with the same frequency as seen on Io, the moon of Jupiter. This site is known to host greatest volcanism of our solar system, at least that’s how they found it Researchers.

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How did we find this exoplanet?

As we know, this concept describes celestial bodies who live outside our solar system, and to find it we used the data from satellite of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) “Satellite for the study of exoplanets in transit”, of spitzer space telescope -already retired- and ground glasses Likewise, the study was published last Wednesday in the journal Nature, where it was detailed that LP 791-18d is located approximately 90 light years from Earth, in the constellation of the Crater. Your home is around a small red dwarf star. Two other planets orbiting this Sun were found right there. LP 791-18b, who might have a paste 20 percent bigger than ours and LP 971-18c, with nails 2.5 times higher and more than seven times its mass.

In fact, among the latest guesses, astronomers believe that the massive planet LP 971-18c could contribute to the eventual volcanism of newly detected exoplanet. And it is that while the two giants orbit around their star, both mark a trajectory that brings them closer to each other, allowing gravitational pull of the largest planetLP 971-18c- stop infernal star —LP 971-18d- And change its orbit. What happens is that at each turn around the star, there path of smallest celestial body scroll and buy a slightly more oval shape. Are “elliptical revolutions” they do inside the planet be warm and drive with volcanic activity.

He was no stranger to the specialists visualize this stellar activity, since a very similar phenomenon occurs at Io, the moon of Jupiter. This is because there is intense gravitational activity between their satellites largest natural and in itself of the planet itself. However, these are only assumption well structured, since there is still no direct evidence that demonstrates the existence of the famous volcanoes in LP 971-18 d. And it is that according to the statement of the co-author of the study Ian Crossfield, “We don’t know if there are volcanoes here.” Him too Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Kansas at Lawrence assured that “all we know is that it is a small planet that undergoes periodic stretching right”.

As the specialist tells us, it is because its orbit around its star And close to other planets it generates an intense gravitational activity.

“It could cause a lot of volcanoes like on Jupiter’s moon Io, which is the most volcanically active in our solar system. We know that because we’ve sent things up close and taken pictures. There’s still no such clear evidence with LP 791-18 d.”, he explained.

From now on, only future observations of the planet could provide more data to the extent that astronomers continue the search for the planets the size of the To land potentially habitable.

Where does the idea of ​​volcanism come from and how does it explain its atmosphere?

According to astronomers, it is estimated that LP 791-18d it is found on the inside edge of the living area. That is to say, it is a distance of its star in which it can provide enough heat to house liquid water on its surface.

“LP 791-18 d is tidally locked, which means that the same side constantly faces its star,” said Björn Benneke, study co-author and professor of astronomy at the Trottier Institute for exoplanet research from the University of California. Montreal.

He also pointed out that the day side probably it would be too hot for there to exist liquid water on the surface. But the amount of volcanic activity – which is suspected, has – occurs all over the planet and i could maintain an atmosphere, “which could allow water condensation on the night side.” Although volcanism looks like a barrier For the possibility of water and life, could actually help the planet hold an atmosphere. This is how volcanoes can generate interactions between inside and outside of a planet.

“A big question in astrobiology, the field that largely studies the origins of life on Earth and beyond, is whether tectonic or volcanic activity is necessary for life,” the co-author said. study, Jessie Christiansen, a researcher at NASA’s Exoplanet Science Institute. at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, in a statement.

If so, we could understand the structure of our own planet Apart from the fact that this specialist insists on the possibility that provide an atmosphere during these processes could shake materials otherwise they would flow and they would stay trapped in the crust of the star, “including those we think are important for life, like carbon.” Actually, to astronomers intrigue them how volcanic activity can boost changes in the planets. For example, in an airplane “closer” we see Venus, what is it enough similar In size wing To land, could have been – once – more similar to our world.

“On Venus, volcanic carbon dioxide remained in the atmosphere, pushing the planet into an uncontrollable greenhouse state,” said study co-author Stephen Kane, professor of planetary astrophysics at the University of California Riverside, in a statement.

Today, temperature from the surface of Venus is finished 454.4 degrees Celsius, as hot as a pizza oven of firewood, and the chances that there is life there they are rare. But it may not have always been so. Volcanoes could be an important part of the puzzle about what really happened on the second rock orb near the sun So expoplanets like hell LP 791-18d can throw important data on how volcanoes form environments planetary with time, “including those of Venus and Earth.”

Source: El Heraldo De Mexico

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