Scientists have spotted a super earth where atmospheric temperature wildly fluctuated between 1,800 and 4,900° F during a period of two years. The researchers have still not succeeded in finding the exact reason behind such drastic temperature shifts in the planet. However, a study has revealed that the extreme increase in temperature might be triggered by the massive volcanoes on the surface of the planet.

The lead author of the study Brice Olivier Demory, who is a scientist representing the University of Cambridge, said that it’s possible that a large-scale surface activity such as volcanism is responsible for this immense variability in temperature in the planet. However, Demory didn’t forget to mention that he and his team are still not aware whether their assumption is completely true.


The study during which Demory and his colleagues spotted this new super earth allowed the research team to find out how dust and gas in the massive volcanic plumes can blanket the planet’s thermal emissions periodically giving its atmosphere a cooler appearance when watched from the earth.

The newly discovered hot planet, which is commonly referred to as the extreme planet, has been named 55 Cancri E. It’s called a super earth due to its massive size; it is a rocky planet that is much bigger than the planet Earth.

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The diameter of 55 Cancri E is two times that of the Earth and its mass is eight times the mass of our planet. Another notable feature of this extreme planet is that it remains tidally locked with the star it orbits; this means one side of the 55 Cancri E always has daylight, and the other has perpetual night.

Scientists discovered this super earth way back in 2004; it is the first rocky planet to be spotted beyond the solar system. When the 55 Cancri E was first spotted, every known exoplanet was a gas giant. Spotting them was much easier due to their enormous size; for those who don’t know: those gas giants are as much as 300 times bigger than the earth. 55 Cancri E is located extremely close to the star it orbits; so, for completing each revolution it takes just 18 days.

SOURCEUniversity of Cambridge