The Sky is Falling

Untitled.jpgRecently, a model created at Washington University in St. Louis, depicts a rather strange planet, COROT-7b. The oddity found on this exoplanet is it's atmosphere, which is comprised of rocky material that tends to fall from the sky. The falling pebbles work much like rain by condensing and forming pebbles that fall from the air into the lava surface below.

The planet has no real atmosphere of its own because of the distance to it's star, 1.6 million miles, which is 26 times closer than mercury is to our sun, cooked the gaseous materials off, although other gases are be created by the molten surface releasing it's own materials. The distance causes the surface of the COROT-7b to be extremely hot, which is also aided by the fact that the distance also locks the planet to it's parent star, much like the moon to Earth, meaning that one side is always facing the star making that side much hotter while the other side is very cold.

It is this heat which vaporize the surface rock sending it up where it mixes and forms pebbles that rain down; however, not everything comes down some materials that rise to the top don't condense and instead form gas clouds.