NASA Set To Study ‘Super-Earth 55’ – A Planet So Hot That It Literally Rains Lava

  • NASA is about to begin using the James Webb Space Telescope to study Super-Earth 55 Cancri e.
  • The planet is so hot that surface temperatures can reach 4,417°F and it literally rains lava from the sky.
  • Read more news about space here.

With the James Webb Telescope soon to become fully operational, NASA is making plans for some wild new research projects.

Among those projects is the study of an exoplanet named Super-Earth 55 Cancri e – a planet so hot that it literally rains lava.

The reason 55 Cancri e, located around 40 light years from Earth, is so hot is because it orbits its Sun-like star at a distance of just 1.5 million miles, or one twenty-fifth the distance of Mercury from our sun. Earth, by comparison, is around 93 million miles from the sun.

This short distance also means that, unlike Earth, which takes 365 days to orbit the sun, 55 Cancri e makes a full loop around its sun-like star in just 18 hours.

As a result, surface temperatures on 55 Cancri e can reach up to 4,417 degrees Farenheit.

NASA to begin study of Super-Earth 55 Cancri e, a planet covered in oceans of lava

“With surface temperatures far above the melting point of typical rock-forming minerals, the day side of the planet is thought to be covered in oceans of lava,” NASA wrote in a recent blog post.

NASA scientists believe and will try to confirm using the James Webb Space Telescope that the surface of 55 Cancri e heats up, melts, and even vaporizes during the day, forming a very thin atmosphere.

“In the evening, the vapor would cool and condense to form droplets of lava that would rain back to the surface, turning solid again as night falls,” NASA wrote.

“Imagine if Earth were much, much closer to the Sun. So close that an entire year lasts only a few hours,” NASA stated. “So close that gravity has locked one hemisphere in permanent searing daylight and the other in endless darkness. So close that the oceans boil away, rocks begin to melt, and the clouds rain lava.”

Soon, thanks to the James Webb Space Telescope, we won’t have to imagine it.

Related: Scientists Have Discovered Hell And It’s A Distant Exoplanet With Temperatures Over 5,400 Degrees

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Before settling down at BroBible, Douglas Charles, a graduate of the University of Iowa (Go Hawks), owned and operated a wide assortment of websites. He is also one of the few White Sox fans out there and thinks Michael Jordan is, hands down, the GOAT.