Volcanic Activity on Super Earth 55 Cancri e

Spitzer_sig15-007_1024

spitzer_sig15-007 May 5th, 2015

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)

This artists impression of super-Earth 55 Cancri e shows a hot partially-molten surface of the planet before and after possible volcanic activity on the day side.

Using NASAs Spitzer Space Telescope, the researchers observed thermal emissions coming from the planet, called 55 Cancri e orbiting a sun-like star located 40 light years away in the Cancer constellation and for the first time found rapidly changing conditions, with temperatures on the hot day side of the planet swinging between 1000 and 2700 degrees Celsius.

Although the interpretations of the new data are still preliminary, the researchers believe the variability in temperature could be due to huge plumes of gas and dust which occasionally blanket the surface, which may be partially molten. The plumes could be caused by exceptionally high rates of volcanic activity, higher than what has been observed on Io, one of Jupiters moons and the most geologically active body in the solar system.

The full University of Cambridge release can be found here:

http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/astronomers-find-first-evidence-of-changing-conditions-on-a-super-earth

Image Source: http://spitzer-app3.ipac.caltech.edu/images/6057-sig15-007-Volcanic-Activity-on-Super-Earth-55-Cancri-e

Curator: Spitzer Space Telescope, Pasadena, CA, USA

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Image Details

Image Type
Artwork
Object Name
55 Cancri e
Subject - Milky Way
Planet » Type » Terrestrial

Distance

Universescale1
40 light years
Spitzer_sig15-007_1280
×
ID
sig15-007
Subject Category
B.1.1.1  
Subject Name
55 Cancri e
Credits
NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)
Type
Artwork
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
Instrument
Color Assignment
Band
Bandpass
Central Wavelength
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
Equinox
Reference Value
Reference Dimension
Reference Pixel
Scale
Rotation
Coordinate System Projection:
Quality
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
Spitzer Space Telescope
URL
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
1200 E. California Blvd.
City
Pasadena
State/Province
CA
Postal Code
91125
Country
USA
Rights
Publisher
Spitzer Science Center
Publisher ID
spitzer
Resource ID
sig15-007.tif
Metadata Date
2015-05-04
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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Universescalefull
40 light years