The Kepler space telescope has given humanity a look into space that is nothing short of fascinating. In fact, the telescope has provided data that suggests that there could be billions of earth-like planets in our own cosmic backyard. A new find to come out of the data provided by the Kepler is of a ‘mega’ planet that is 17 times heavier than our planet Earth. In a sense it dwarfs all other planets found that were classified as ‘super-planets’ and were seen as impressive on their own. To give you an indication of how significant this size is, although Kepler has found many earth-like planets, they have never seen something quite this big. Its name? Kepler-10c.
Another interesting factor is that this planet is incredibly solid and very rocky. Many of the other planets found by Kepler were very large and gaseous, something that likely couldn’t contain life as we know it.
When astronomers initially measured the diameter of this monster find it came in at 29,000 kilometers or 2.3 times larger than Earth. Although that would have been impressive enough, new information from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) reveals the planet is incredibly heavy, 17 times the weight of earth! The weight makes scientists pretty confident that the planet is made of very dense materials and is likely very rocky.
“Finding Kepler-10c tells us that rocky planets could form much earlier than we thought. And if you can make rocks, you can make life,” lead researcher Dimitar Sasselov says in a press release.
For the rest of the story: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/06/14/new-mega-planet-is-17-times-heavier-than-earth/