NASA hints of atmosphere on rocky planet outside solar system

ANKARA – NASA scientists hinted that they might find evidence of an atmosphere on a rocky planet called "55 Cancri e (Janssen)" outside the solar system by using the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

“Researchers using NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope may have detected atmospheric gases surrounding 55 Cancri e, a hot rocky exoplanet 41 light-years from Earth,” NASA said in a statement.

Also known as Janssen, 55 Cancri e is a so-called super-Earth, a rocky planet significantly larger than Earth but smaller than Neptune, which orbits its star at a distance of only 1.4 million miles, completing one full orbit in less than 18 hours.

Janssen is one of five known planets orbiting the Sun-like star 55 Cancri e in the constellation Cancer.

“To describe 55 Cancri e as ‘rocky,’ however, could leave the wrong impression. The planet orbits so close to its star (about 1.4 million miles, or one-twenty-fifth the distance between Mercury and the Sun) that its surface is likely to be molten – a bubbling ocean of magma,” NASA added.

Due to the gravitational power of the star, only one side of "Janssen" is facing the star, and for this reason, it is always day on one side and night on the other.

If the planet is covered in dark molten rock with a thin veil of vaporized rock or no atmosphere at all, the dayside should be around 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit (~2,200 degrees Celsius). (Anadolu)