Finding cosmic objects that blow our minds and are very far away from us is one thing, but how about finding them in our own cosmic backyard? There are plenty of wonderful things in our solar system, too, and humanity hasn’t yet discovered all of them.
Today, we’ll be going a bit beyond our solar system: ‘only’ 90 light-years away from Earth. Just several stars are separating us from the G 9-40b exoplanet, one that is at least twice as massive as our beloved planet and about the same size as Neptune.
It’s a gigantic Super-Earth
G 9-40b is classified as a gigantic Super-Earth, and it was discovered last year by NASA using the space telescope Kepler. If you’re planning a vacation on G 9-40b, by any chance, you should cancel it immediately. Not because there is no known way of traveling 90 light-years during a human lifetime (maybe you discovered the secret for teleportation, and you keep it by yourself, who knows), but because the planet’s surface is like a vision of Hell.
G 9-40b has 3,100 degrees Celsius (or 5,600 Fahrenheit) at its surface, and there isn’t any known creature that can survive such a temperature.
Gudmundur Stefansson, who is the lead author of a paper about the gigantic planet, said about the celestial object that it’s “among the 20 closest transiting planetary systems known, and is currently the second-closest transiting planets discovered by the K2 mission to date,”
However, astronomers are seeking further insights about the newfound Super-Earth, and they are planning to take another good look at it by using NASA’s upcoming James Webb Space Telescope. This majestic creation will be ready for exploring space starting in March 2021.
In order to obtain more info about what is G 9-40b made of, astronomers used The Habitable Zone Planet Finder (HPF), a planet-hunting instrument connected to the Hobby-Eberly Telescope.