Alien Planet Rains Rocks

October 2, 2009 at 8:12 pm Leave a comment

Wild.  The Universe is a crazy place where all sorts of things are possible.  Check this out:

…The exoplanet, COROT-7b, was discovered in February by the COROT space telescope launched by the French and European space agencies. Last month is became the first planet outside our solar system to be confirmed as a rocky body — most other known exoplanets are gas giants.

…To find out what COROT-7b’s atmosphere might be like, Fegley and his colleagues modeled it. They found that COROT-7b’s atmosphere is made up of the ingredients of rocks and when “a front moves in,” pebbles condense out of the air and rain into lakes of molten lava below.

…As you go higher the atmosphere gets cooler and eventually you get saturated with different types of ‘rock’ the way you get saturated with water in the atmosphere of Earth,” Fegley explained. “But instead of a water cloud forming and then raining water droplets, you get a ‘rock cloud’ forming and it starts raining out little pebbles of different types of rock.”

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/091001-rock-rain.html

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