Imagine being able to celebrate a birthday on a planet every eight hours? One such planet is GJ 367b. That is, if we all have 365 days in a year, there it is just eight hours. It orbits its star, which is about half the size of the Sun, in about eight hours.
It is one of the lightest planets ever discovered outside the Solar System. The planet is located 31 light years away from the Sun. This small planet is located very close to its star GJ 376. Therefore, the GJ 367b is too hot to be inhabited.
The planet’s surface temperature is around 1,500 degrees Celsius. It is so hot that it can melt rocks and metals. Due to this extreme temperature, the planet is believed to have lost its atmosphere some time ago. Likewise, one side of the GJ 367b always faces its star. It also has the advantage of being closer to Earth than other ultra-short-lived planets.
Researchers estimate that 86% of GJ 367b is made up of iron. It has an internal structure similar to that of Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun. The GJ 367b is approximately 9,000 km in diameter and 55% mass.
The study was led by researchers at the Institute of Planetary Research at the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The new study is published in the journal Science. They made the discovery using data from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) launched in 2018.