A very dense planet

55 Cancri e is an extrasolar planet with half the mass of Neptune orbiting the Sun-like star 55 Cancri A. Its mass is about 8.3 Earth masses and it is the innermost known planet in its planetary system.

It may be close to Earth’s size and orbiting a sunlike star—but that’s where the similarities end between our world and 55 Cancri e end.

New observations show that the so-called super-Earth is the densest planet yet found outside our solar system—twice as dense as Earth—and the hottest known rocky world.

With a year that lasts less than 18 hours, surface temperatures reaching 2,700 degrees Celsius (4,892 degrees Fahrenheit), and having the density of lead, this is hands down the most exotic world we have ever seen.

Nestled in the constellation Cancer, 55 Cancri e is part of a four-planet system that’s just 42 light-years away. Learn more here.


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