All you sci-fi creators get to cogitating, they just found a planet that rains iron:
- Using a new technique that will be used to search for Earthlike planets, astronomers have found a distant extrasolar planet, a bizarre place of torrid heat, with clouds and raindrops made of iron.
A team from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics found the planet orbiting a star 5,000 light years away by detecting the slight dimming of light caused as the planet moved between the star and telescopes on Earth.
The sophisticated technique was compared to spotting the shadow cast by a mosquito flying in front of a searchlight two hundred miles away.
….Sasselov said the new planet was found in orbit of a star in a distant spiral arm of the Milky Way and closer than the sun to the galactic center.
The planet is just slightly smaller than Jupiter. It orbits very close to its star, about one-fiftieth the distance between the Earth and the sun. This orbit means the planet whips around the star every 29 hours, in contrast to the yearlong orbit of the Earth about the sun.
….Because it is so close to its star, the new planet is thought to have an atmospheric temperature of about 3,100 degrees, enough to vaporize most metals.
“This is the hottest planet that we know about,” said Sasselov. “It is hot enough to have an iron fog and to rain hot iron droplets.”
He said the new planet would be a place of violence, with a powerful jet stream whipping the clouds and loosing showers of molten iron. [AP]
What kind of creatures would live there? Would their bodies be 97% iron (or whatever percentage of water ours are)? Would their anemia be a shortage of water in the blood?