A year on the melting planet takes just 1.4 Earth days
While astronomers continue to rack up a list of exciting new exoplanet discoveries, some are simply more awesome than others. The crown jewel of the search for other planets would be an orb similar to Earth, perhaps even similar enough to support living beings. A newly found world called UFC-1.01 is most definitely one of the more interesting recent finds, but not for its ability to foster life — in fact it's quite the opposite.
While studying a red dwarf star named GJ 436 using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers noticed something odd: a slight fluctuation in the amount of infrared light the star was giving off. After further study, the researchers were able to identify the cause — a small planet, two-thirds the size of Earth is orbiting the star at a remarkably close distance. The scientists believe that UFC-1.01 is so close to its star that it not only would be completely lifeless, but may also be absolutely covered in molten rock.
With a surface temperature of over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, UFC-1.01 would be absolutely miserable place to take a vacation. But there's still some good news! Because the planet orbits its star so closely, a year on UFC-1.01 takes less than one and a half Earth days. That means you'd be able to celebrate your birthday every 36 hours or so. Just don't bring an ice cream cake, it probably wouldn't last.
[Image credit: NASA]
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