Observing exoplanet 55 Cancri e from a ground-based telescope could pave the way for spotting more super Earth planets using devices from the Earth itself.
An exoplanet two times the size of our own – around 25 750 km in diameter – has been spotted by scientists of Queen’s University, Belfast. The super Earth, named exoplanet 55 Cancri e, was seen orbiting its star from Spain, with the Nordic Optical Telescope. Its sun, though, called 55 Cancri, does not need sophisticated devices to be observed: it is conspicuous with the naked eye.
The star 55 Cancri has 5 other planets revolving around it, with the super Earth the nearest to it. The exoplanet’s surface temperature is thus estimated to be extremely high, perhaps above 2 000 degrees Celcius.
The study entailing the planet 55 Cancri e demonstrates how ground telescopes can allow humans to grasp planets with their sight. This would be pertinent for upcoming researches carried out by the NASA and the European Space Agency that are about to discover smaller planets revolving around their stars – the scientists of these projects have the possibility of carrying on with their researches by viewing their respective heavenly bodies using ground-based telescopes. The only super Earth studied using telescopes on Earth is the GJ 1215b. The promising results will probably help more scientists explore the universe further.