Exoplanet K2-141b Has Lava Oceans, Rains Rocks, and Suffers from Supersonic Winds
If you ever need to feel more grateful for Earth, then just take a moment to contemplate some of the truly horrifying exoplanets that lurk outside our own solar system. Take, for example, K2-141b, a nightmare “lava planet” where it rains rock.
A team of researchers led by York University doctoral student Tue Giang Nguyen ran computer simulations to predict the conditions and weather on the extreme planet. K2-141b has the misfortune of being located close to its host star. It’s also oriented so that two-thirds of the planet is locked into blazing-hot perpetual light while the dark side remains frigid.
“All rocky planets, including Earth, started off as molten worlds but then rapidly cooled and solidified. Lava planets give us a rare glimpse at this stage of planetary evolution,” said planetary scientist Nicolas Cowan in a McGill University statement on Tuesday.