Did NASA find Hell? Scientists are preparing for the first time to see a constantly burning world

In the coming weeks, the James Webb Space Telescope will be able to monitor conditions on a “giant Earth” 50 light-years away for the first time, and NASA prepares for some terrifying sights.

The planet, named 55 Cancri e, orbits so close to its “sun-like star” that surface conditions can literally be a hell of a biblical description: a dimension in constant burning.

The data shows 55 Cancri e is less than 1.5 million miles from its star, 1/25 the distance that Mercury is from our sun, NASA says.

Nothing like it

“With surface temperatures well above the melting point of typical rock-forming minerals, the diurnal side of the planet is thought to be covered by seas of lava,” NASA reported on May 26.

“Imagine if the Earth were so much closer to the sun. So close that an entire year lasted only a few hours. So close that gravity locked one hemisphere into a perpetual scorching day and the other into endless darkness. So close that the seas were boiling, The rocks are melting and the lava is gone.”

NASA says there is nothing like it in our solar system.

Among the things scientists hope to discover is whether the planet is “tidalally closed, with one side facing the star at all times” or whether it rotates in a way that would create day and night.

The first glimpses of NASA’s less powerful Spitzer Space Telescope show that something mysterious is going on at 55 Cancri e, because the hottest point isn’t the part looking directly at its star.

One theory is that the planet has a “dynamic atmosphere that drives heat,” says NASA.

Another idea is that 55 Cancri e spins to create day and night, but with shocking results.

“In this scenario, the surface would heat up, melt, and even evaporate during the day, forming an extremely thin atmosphere that the Webb Telescope could detect,” NASA says.

“In the afternoon, the steam cools and condenses to form lava droplets that will rain back to the surface, turning solid again as night falls.”

NASA says the James Webb Space Telescope is expected to be fully operational “in a few weeks” with its first observations over the summer.

Scientists say the telescope is able to detect the presence of the atmosphere.

He will spend his first year studying 55 Cancri e and the airless planet LHS 3844 b, trying to understand “the evolution of rocky planets like Earth,” according to NASA.

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