Science & Tech

Scientists discover strange planet that’s ‘melting from within’

Scientists discover strange planet that’s ‘melting from within’
Astronomers Discover an Enormous Planet Made of Something as Light as Cotton …
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Every now and then, a story comes along which reminds us all just how cool science is – and this is definitely one of those times.

Experts have discovered a new planet which is completely covered in active volcanoes, which make the planet appear glowing red, which could possibly be melting from within itself.

The exoplanet is named TOI-6713.01 and its discovery was documented in a study published in The Astronomical Journal.

The strange planet is the first of its kind observed by scientists, glowing red and orbiting a dwarf star around 66 light-years away from Earth.

It’s slightly larger than our planet and the temperature on the surface is a whopping 2,300 degrees Celsius.

TOI-6713.01 is a significant discovery for a number of reasons – not least because it gives scientists the chance to research the effects of the “perfect tidal storm” which the planet finds itself in.

The planets around TOI-6713.01 orbit the dwarf star from further away, and their gravitational force pushes and pulls TOI-6713.01 in such a way that its orbit was changed from a circle to an oval.

It’s this gravitational pressure that’s responsible for creating friction on the surface of TOI-6713.01, which generates the heat that’s released by the volcanoes – and these tidal pressures exerted on the planet are of great interest to the researchers.

The lead on the discovery is Stephen Kane, an astrophysicist at the University of California, Riverside. He told Universe Today: "This teaches us a lot about the extremes of how much energy can be pumped into a terrestrial planet, and the consequences of that.

“There have been several cases of terrestrial planets that are close to their star and heated by the energy from the star, but very few cases where the tidal energy is melting the planet from within.”

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