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About my short visit to a third planet around a yellow star

Kepler-10c: Our planet's super-hot, overweight cousin

3 Jun 2014, 03:28 UTC
Kepler-10c: Our planet's super-hot, overweight cousin
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A team of astronomers announced today that they have discovered a planet (or rather, revised the mass estimate of a previously discovered planet) that is 17 times massive than our Earth, and 2.35 times as large. The planet is orbiting around a star called "Kepler-10" every 45 days and is designated as Kepler-10c, the second planet in that system. Since the star is very similar to our Sun (but a lot older ~ 10 to 11 billion years, compared to our Sun's 4.5 billion years), the short orbital period means that the planet is very hot (~310 C, about three times the boiling point of water). The first planet in this system, Kepler-10b, which is about three times more massive than the Earth, is even worse: It orbits the star every 0.83 days (20 hours)!, making it one of the hottest rocky planet (~1895 C, about the melting point of the metal Chromium).These two planets were discovered back in 2011. At that time, astronomers could only put an upper limit on the mass estimate of Kepler-10c, ~ 20 Earth mass, the second planet in the system. Now, they have obtained more data and found a more precise estimate of the ...

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