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Newly Discovered ‘Extreme’ Alien Planet Is Super Hot At 5,800 Fahrenheit, Researchers Reveal

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KEY POINTS

  • CHEOPS has released the results of its observation on alien planet WASP-189b
  • WASP-189b’s orbit is tilted dramatically and orbits its star every 2.7 Earth days
  • WASP-189b has temperatures reaching 5,800 Fahrenheit

The European Space Agency’s Characterizing Exoplanet Satellite (CHEOPS) has recently discovered an alien planet about 1.6 times the size of Jupiter. Aside from having a strange orbit, it is also scorching hot.

WASP-189b, the newly discovered alien planet, was first detected in 2018 and has been recorded to have temperatures reaching 5,800 Fahrenheit — almost as hot as Earth’s outer core and is even hot enough to turn iron into gas, ESA’s study revealed.

Aside from having a size comparable to Jupiter, the exoplanet is also considered a “Hot Jupiter” due to its extremely short orbital period (2.7 Earth days). A Hot Jupiter is a gas planet with a “Jupiter-like” size that orbits very close to its star.

The star which the alien planet orbits is super hot — more than 2000 degrees hotter than the Sun — so it carries a bluish hue. CHEOPS’ observations show that it is not perfectly round and is larger and cooler at its equator than at its poles. 

“Only a handful of planets are known to exist around stars this hot, and this system is by far the brightest,” says Monika Lendl, an astrophysicist at the University of Geneva in Switzerland.

“WASP-189b is also the brightest hot Jupiter that we can observe as it passes in front of or behind its star, making the whole system really intriguing.”

Unlike Earth’s solar system, where planets orbit at the sun’s equator, WASP-189b orbits its star in such a dramatic tilt that it brings it closer to the star’s poles. This characteristic makes scientists suspect that WASP-189b formed somewhere far away from the

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Buried lakes of liquid water discovered on Mars

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The findings come from data collected by Esa's Mars Express spacecraft
The findings come from data collected by Esa’s Mars Express spacecraft

Three new underground lakes have been detected near the south pole of Mars.

Scientists also confirmed the existence of a fourth lake – the presence of which was hinted at in 2018.

Liquid water is vital for biology, so the finding will be of interest to researchers studying the potential for life elsewhere in the Solar System.

But the lakes are also thought to be extremely salty, which could make it difficult for any microbial life to survive in them.

Billions of years ago, water flowed in rivers and pooled in lakes on the Martian surface. But Mars has since lost much of its atmosphere, which means water can’t stay liquid for long on the surface today.

However, it’s a different matter underground.

“It’s even more likely that these bodies of water existed in the past. Of course, the implication of this is that you would have a habitat or something that resembles a habitat… that lasted throughout the history of the planet,” co-author Dr Roberto Orosei, from Italy’s National Institute of Astrophysics in Bologna, told BBC News.

“As Mars was undergoing its climatic catastrophe and turning from a relatively warm planet – though it’s not clear how warm – to a frozen waste, there was a place where life could adapt and survive.”

The latest discovery was made using data from a radar instrument on the European Space Agency’s (Esa) Mars Express spacecraft, which has been orbiting the Red Planet since December 2003.

In 2018, researchers used data from the Marsis radar to report signs of a 20km-wide subsurface lake located 1.5km under Mars’ south polar layered deposits, a thick polar cap formed by layers of ice and dust.

However, that finding was based on 29 observations collected

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New species of cockroach-killing wasps discovered in 25-million-year-old amber

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This ensign wasp was trapped in amber 25 million years ago.


George Poinar Jr./Oregon State University

If you hate cockroaches, then you might find some satisfaction in a fascinating piece of ancient insect history that recently came to light. 

Oregon State University entomologist George Poinar Jr. discovered four new species of ensign wasps in 25-million-year-old amber found in the Dominican Republic and Mexico. These cockroach-killing wasps are still around today, and the amber finds offer an intriguing glimpse into their past.

Poinar is the author of a study on the amber-encased wasps published in the paleobiology journal Historical Biology this month.

This is one of four new species of ensign wasp found trapped in 25-million-year-old amber.


George Poinar Jr./Oregon State University

Ensign wasps let their young handle the cockroach-killing duties. Female wasps lay eggs in or on a cockroach egg case. 

“When the wasp egg hatches, the larva eats the cockroach egg where it was laid,” said Oregon State University. The larva uses the egg case as a shelter as it grows toward adulthood.

“Our study shows these wasps were around some 20 or 30 million years ago, with probably the same behavioral patterns regarding cockroaches,” said Poinar in an OSU statement Friday.

The wasps fit right in with some of Poinar’s other amber discoveries, which include a fascinating flea, a microinvertebrate “mold pig” and an alien-looking “E.T.” insect.     

Poinar didn’t find any cockroaches in the fossilized tree resin along with the wasp remains, but he did spot some flying termites, which may have been sharing space with cockroaches. 

And if you see an ensign wasp today, it’s a friend,