Astronomers have discovered a planet that is made mostly of metal, Exoplanet GJ 367b. Though it is only 75 per cent as big as Earth (approx.), it is significantly denser. Astronomers believe that the planet has an iron core. This iron core is surrounded by a thin layer of rock and maybe some ice or gas.
GJ 367b revolves around a red dwarf star, Gliese 367. It is within 31 light-years from Earth. The star is so close to the planet that it only takes 7.7 hours for the planet to complete one orbit. This means that the planet is very hot. It is assumed that GJ 367b’s surface temperature is somewhere in the range of 1,500 degrees Celsius and 2,732 degrees Fahrenheit.
GJ 367b is the densest planet ever discovered by astronomers. It has a density of almost 8 grams per cubic centimetre, which is comparable to that of iron. According to this, the planet is primarily composed of iron, with a thin layer of rock covering its surface.
How GJ 367b was formed is still unclear to the scientists. One theory is that it was originally a bigger planet whose mantle was torn away by a collision with another body. According to another theory, it might have originated from a disk of very iron-rich material.
First, it shows that it is possible for planets to form which are entirely composed of metal. This means that the process of planet formation is way more diverse than we used to believe.
Second, the discovery raises questions about how it formed. Maybe it was once a larger planet whose mantle was torn away by a collision with another body. By this, we can assume that the collisions between planets are common, and they can have a significant impact on their evolution.
Another thing is that maybe GJ 367b was formed from a disk of an iron-rich material. So, there could be other planets out there that are also made mostly of metal.
Future Research for Exoplanet GJ 367b
Astronomers are planning to study GJ 367b in more detail in the future. They want to understand more about its composition, structure, and formation history. They are also interested in searching for other planets like GJ 367b.
The discovery of GJ 367b is a sign that there is still so much to learn about the universe. However, GJ 367b is not a habitable planet. It is impossible to live on GJ 367b because the environment is too hot and dense. However, the discovery is still important as it gives more information about the variety of planets that exist in the universe.
Every time a new or unexpected planet is found by astronomers, it expands our knowledge of how planets are formed and change through time. Let’s see if scientists will be able to find how this planet was formed or not, till then stay connected with oreonow.