New Earth-Like Blazing Hot Planet ‘Kepler-78b’ Discovered

First Posted: Oct 31, 2013 07:12 AM EDT

A team of astronomers have discovered an earth-like blazing hot planet that shouldn't exist. The discovery of the new planet Kepler-78b has baffled scientists as it is completely impossible within the present planet formation theories.  They claim this planet to be an impossible world.

This mystery world is the first known Earth-sized planet with an Earth-like density. With a diameter of 9,200 miles, the fiery larva world is 1.2 times the size of Earth and 1.7 times more massive than Earth and it is composed of iron and rock. The blazing hot planet circles its star every eight and a half hours at a distance of less than one mile. This makes it one of tightest known orbit on record and due to this its formation is deemed as impossible and not suitable for life. The scientists believe no planet can form so close to its star nor could it have moved to its current position.

"The tight orbit of Kepler-78b poses a challenge to theorists. When this planetary system was forming, the young star was larger than it is now. As a result, the current orbit of Kepler-78b would have been inside the swollen star," states the press release.

The star of Kepler-78b is slightly smaller and less massive than the sun. The Kepler orbits the Sun-like G-type star, which is  located 400 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. The exoplanet was discovered using data from NASA's Kepler Space Telescope that till date has identified more than 150,000 stars. The follow up observations were made using W.M. Keck Observatory atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

"The news arrived in grand style with the message: 'Kepler-10b has a baby brother," Natalie Batalha, Kepler mission scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., said in a press statement. "The message expresses the joy of knowing that Kepler's family of exoplanets is growing," Batalha reflects. "It also speaks of progress. The Doppler teams are attaining higher precision, measuring masses of smaller planets at each turn.  This bodes well for the broader goal of one day finding evidence of life beyond Earth."

With the help of radial velocity technique the scientists determined the planet's mass and measured how the gravitational pull of the orbiting planet causes the star to wobble.

 The theorists predict that this doomed world will vanish within three billion years.

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