55 CANCRIE (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     9th May 2024        

Context: Scientists recently reported the discovery of a thick atmosphere surrounding a, exo-planet (55 Cancrie E) twice the size of Earth in a nearby solar system.

 55 Cancrie - Discovery in a Nearby Solar System

  • About: It is classified as a "super Earth" due to its size, being larger than Earth but smaller than Neptune, is an exo-planet orbiting a Sun-like host star 55 Cancri A. .
  • Thick Atmosphere Detected: Scientists report the detection of a thick atmosphere around a planet twice the size of Earth in a neighboring solar system.
  • Composition of the Atmosphere: The atmosphere of 55 Cancrie consists primarily of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, although precise quantities remain unclear.

o This differs from Earth's atmosphere, which primarily comprises nitrogen, oxygen, argon, and other gases.

  • Firm Evidence of an Atmosphere: According to astronomer Ian Crossfield, the discovery represents strong evidence of the presence of an atmosphere around 55 Cancrie.
  • Boiling Temperatures and Life Possibility: Despite its atmospheric presence, the extreme temperatures on 55 Cancrie, which can soar as high as 2,300°C, make it highly unlikely to support life as we know it.

Related News

  • Recently another planet has been discovered which is being called Kh2-18b.
  • Kh2-18b
  • About: It is an exoplanet that has astronomers excited about the possibility of life.
  • Ocean-Covered Super-Earth: This planet is much bigger than Earth, with a radius about 2.6 times larger, and it's believed to be covered in a vast ocean.
  • Biosignature Hunt: Scientists are particularly interested in finding a specific gas called dimethyl sulfide (DMS) in K2-18b's atmosphere.
  • A Potential Sign of Life: The interesting thing about DMS is that on Earth, it's mainly produced by living organisms, like marine phytoplankton. So, finding DMS on K2-18b could be a strong sign that life exists there.
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