back to article What's 23 times the size of Earth, uncomfortably warm – and has astroboffins excited?

The space telescope launched last year as the successor to NASA's long-running and very successful Kepler turned in three exoplanets in its first three months of observations. In spite of the US government shutdown, NASA found someone to press the "publish" dialogue on its website and announced the finds on Monday. Perhaps …

  1. alain williams Silver badge

    "too hot for life at 150°C" ?

    Life from Earth maybe, but it isn't that hot. Pyrolobus fumarii is OK up to 122 °C.

    A limiting factor for water based life will be water's boiling point. But water boils at 150°C at about 5 times Earth's atmospheric pressure, so life at 150°C might not be that hard.

    (Yes: boiling point is not the only factor, high stability cell walls, etc, will also be needed)

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: "too hot for life at 150°C" ?

      Given that life is likely to first evolve in water, if it evolved in deep water it might be cooler than that and would definitely be at higher pressure meaning a higher boiling point.

      I think life could easily evolve on such a world. The question is whether complex life would be possible, but given that we've got a sample size of only one world on which life has evolved, there's a good chance that life is viable at a far wider range of conditions than what we have on Earth.

      The trick might be recognizing it as such, if it is microorganism scale. If life inside a star was possible, not only would it be almost impossible for us to recognize as such it would be impossible for us to even be in a position to recognize it. It would be as cut off from us as deep ocean thermal vent life is cut off from grizzly bears.

    2. Adrian Midgley 1

      Re: "too hot for life at 150°C" ?

      Chemical stuff tends to double with each 10 degree (C or K as you like) increase, so 150 is quite a bit more than 122, but indeed perhaps not impossible.

  2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    Names

    It's always striking that the names of newly-found astronomical objects seem to be totally random. I accepted long ago that it's because they identify bits of something far more complicated than I can imagine (and the supply of Roman god names is limited).

    But I'm puzzled by "Pi Mensae c is the second planet found orbiting its star". Why "c" for the second? Are there known unknowns at work here - we know that a and b exist, but we haven't found them yet?

    1. tip pc
      Pint

      Re: Names

      b exploded a few years after Kirk dropped khan off. He promised to send Star fleet security but no one went.

    2. Peter Mount

      Re: Names

      Pi Mesae a would refer to the star itself so b is the first planet & c the second.

      1. Richard 1

        What happens if they find a planet between b and c at a later day?!

        1. Adrian Midgley 1
  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My knob.

    Sorry.

    1. Ian Emery Silver badge

      Damn !! Thought the answer was going to be "Your Momma"

  4. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    A bit of a fried egg planet - with a melted front and a solid back.

    "It's so close to its sun that some of its rocky surface could be molten lava during daytime."

    And it's almost certainly phase locked, so daytime is permanent. (Although libration might cause the edges to enter and leave the sunlight.)

    1. STOP_FORTH
      Headmaster

      Re: A bit of a fried egg planet - with a melted front and a solid back.

      Lava is molten rock.

      Rock is solid lava.

      You can say solid rock, for some reason, but molten lava is frowned upon.

      I'm new here, so I can't start my own thread. That's why I'm replying to you!

      1. eldakka Silver badge

        Re: A bit of a fried egg planet - with a melted front and a solid back.

        Rock is solid lava.

        You can say solid rock, for some reason, but molten lava is frowned upon.

        You can have unsolid rock. For example a heap made by piling loose pebbles into a mound wouldn't generally be referred to as solid rock even though technically each individual pebble is itself solid rock. Also, saying solid rock usually excludes significant amounts of dirt too.

        1. STOP_FORTH
          Flame

          Re: A bit of a fried egg planet - with a melted front and a solid back.

          Igneous rock is really frozen lava, but that just sounds wrong. Everyday language is very room-temperature-and-pressure-centric.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: A bit of a fried egg planet - with a melted front and a solid back.

      Although libration might cause the edges

      Mine's a pint of cider please..

      Oh - 'Libration' - I could have sworn you said libation..

  5. Syn3rg

    LHS 3884b

    Well now we know where to build the next triple-max slam.

  6. Scroticus Canis Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Richard dear chap, what does "about three times Earth's size" mean?

    Is it 3 x volume, or 3 x diameter or 3 x the 2D view area? Some thing else? What? Give us a clue please.

    1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Richard dear chap, what does "about three times Earth's size" mean?

      Give us a clue please.

      Fair enough. Here's your clue: you can find this information by clicking the embedded link:

      https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/news/1542/nasas-tess-rounds-up-its-first-planets-snares-far-flung-supernovae/

      ... which will allow you to find a paper with the announcement for the newly discovered planet ...

      https://arxiv.org/abs/1901.00051

      ... which in turn lists the size as 2.84+0.26−0.22 (R)

      TLDR: About 2.84 times Earth's radius give or take a bit

  7. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

    Eccentrica Gallumbits?

    1. Spherical Cow

      I'm growing a third arm...

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