Daily Archives August 20, 2019

NASA Gets a Rare Look at a Rocky Exoplanet’s Surface

This artist's illustration depicts the exoplanet LHS 3844b

This artist’s illustration depicts the exoplanet LHS 3844b, which is 1.3 times the mass of Earth and orbits an M dwarf star. The planet’s surface may be covered mostly in dark lava rock, with no apparent atmosphere, according to observations by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope.Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)

A new study using data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope provides a rare glimpse of conditions on the surface of a rocky planet orbiting a star beyond the Sun. The study, published today in the journal Nature, shows that the planet’s surface may resemble those of Earth’s Moon or Mercury: The planet likely has little to no atmosphere and could be covered in the same cooled volcanic material found in the dark areas of the Moon’s surface, called mare.

Discovered in 201...

Read More