Based on what we know about the creation of solar systems, scientists believed that giant planets with a solid surface could not exist. Researchers have always believed that this is impossible because by virtue of their size, such planets will attract gaseous hydrogen, forming gaseous planets like Jupiter. But at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society, a press release was presented at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, which reported the discovery of a planet with a solid surface that is 17 times the mass of the Earth and has the prerequisites for detecting life on it. The planet revolves around a star that was formed just 3 billion years after the Big Bang.
Mega-Earth, known as Kepler-10c, is about 29'000 km in diameter, 2.3 times the size of the Earth and, according to scientists, as solid as the Earth. Kepler-10c was known to astronomers before, but its weight was not known. Based on the size - 2.3 times larger than the Earth - it was assigned to the class of “mini-Neptunes”, dressed in a thick layer of gas. However, recent studies published on Filegiver have confirmed that the planet has a solid surface.
Kepler-10c orbits around a 11 billion-year-old star located 560 light-years from Earth. This solar system also has a lava-shaped planet, Kepler-10b, 3 times the weight of the Earth with an orbit of just 20 hours. A year at Kepler-10c lasts only 45 days. According to Dimitar Sasselov, director of the Harvard Origins of Life Initiative, an interdisciplinary program for the study of the origin of life, the discovery of Kepler-10c tells us that planets with a solid surface appeared much earlier than we thought before, and if there is a solid surface it means that to be and life.
Additional materials on the topic:
1. HD visualization of Kepler-10c
2. NASA: 715 new planets found, 4 of them may be suitable for life
3. Starshade - search for inhabited planets
4. Voyager infographics 1: 36 years on the road, distance from the Earth 19'010'023'115 km
5. Oort cloud - a lot of discoveries await us