I know, bring up the jokes, but K2-141b, the planet in question, is nowhere near us.
The exoplanet, which means it is outside of our solar system, is home to one of the most “extreme” environments discovered according to a study first published in Monthly releases from the Royal Astronomical Society by scientists from McGill University in Montreal, York University in Toronto and the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in India.
“Among the most extreme planets discovered beyond the fringes of our solar system are lava planets,” said McGill in a press release. “Fiery hot worlds orbiting so close to their host star that some regions are likely oceans of molten lava.”
K2-141b also has supersonic wind speeds in excess of 3,000 miles per hour.
Neptune has the highest wind speeds of any planet in our solar system, which can exceed 1,100 miles per hour – 1.5 times the speed of sound NASA.
The surface, atmosphere, and ocean of the planet all appear to be made of stones, and the “extreme weather predicted by their analysis could permanently alter the surface and atmosphere of K2-141b over time,” it says in the publication of McGill.
“The study is the first to predict weather conditions on K2-141b that can be captured hundreds of light years away with next-generation telescopes like the James Webb Space Telescope,” said senior author Giang Nguyen, a York graduate student The university, which worked on the study under the supervision of Professor Nicolas Cowan of McGill University, said.
More than half of the planet also has constant daylight because it is so close to its host star that it is “gravitationally fixed” and always faces the same side towards the star.
Alternatively, the dark side of the planet has temperatures that can be below -300 degrees Fahrenheit.
The lowest temperature ever measured by a weather station on earth was in 1983 in Antarctica near the South Pole -128 degrees American Geophysical Union.
In the same way, water on Earth evaporates into the atmosphere and returns as rain. The planet’s rocky vapor atmosphere evaporates and rains as rocks.
“On K2-141b the mineral vapor, which is formed by evaporated rocks, is washed back into a magma ocean on the cold night side by supersonic winds and ‘rain’ of the rocks.” publication said. “The resulting currents flow back to the hot day side of the exoplanet, where the rock evaporates again.”
“All the rocky planets, including Earth, started out as molten worlds, but then quickly cooled and solidified. Lava planets give us a rare insight into this phase of planetary evolution, ”says Professor Cowan from the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.