Astronomers find 'impossible' planet

Astronomers find 'impossible' planet

Credit: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics/David Aguilar

An artist concept shows the Kepler-10 system. In the foreground is Kepler-10c, a planet that weighs 17 times as much as Earth and is more than twice as large in size.

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by KING 5 News

WHAS11.com

Posted on June 2, 2014 at 7:38 PM

Astronomers have discovered a planet they thought couldn’t exist.

The rocky planet, named Kepler-10c, is more than twice as large as Earth and weighs 17 times as much as our planet.

What has astronomers stumped is that this giant planet is just as solid as our own. They had theorized in the past that planets so large would have to be comprised of gas, similar to Jupiter or Neptune. That’s because the gravitational pull of such massive bodies would create a gas envelope during formation.

Kepler-10c won’t be a place earthlings will want to visit. Its orbit lasts 45 days, making it too hot to live on. It’s also 560 light-years from Earth in the constellation Draco.

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