“’Exotic’ planet is densest of its kind: 55 Cancri e as dense as lead and has year less than 18 hours long,” we learn from Emily Chung, CBC News (Apr 29, 2011):
55 Cancri e is a super-Earth located in a very tight, short orbit around a yellow dwarf star similar to Corot-7b, above. Corot 7b was confirmed in 2009 to be the first rocky extrasolar planet. (European Southern Observatory/Associated Press)A rocky planet that is as dense as lead and where a year lasts less than 18 hours has been described by a team of U.S. and Canadian scientists.”On this world — the densest solid planet found anywhere so far, in the solar system or beyond — you would weigh three times heavier than you do on Earth,” said University of British Columbia astronomer Jaymie Matthews in a statement.
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The planet, described by Matthews as “exotic” because it is so different from other known planets, was first discovered around a star in the constellation Cancer in 2004 using a ground-based telescope. However, because such telescopes can’t collect data about stars during the day, the Texas-based team that discovered it appears to have misinterpreted information about its orbit, Matthews said