The discovery of the massive rocky world Kepler 10c was a surpise to astronomers.
- Kepler 10c is 560 light years from Earth.
- With 17 times the mass of Earth it is the most massive rocky planet ever discovered.
- Before its discovery it was thought it would be impossible for rocky planets to become so massive.
- The planet is so unusual it has opened up a new category of exoplanets called "Mega-Earths".
- Kepler 10c has earned the nickname "Godzilla of Earths".
- The planet was discovered by the Kepler space telescope in 2011.
- The force of gravity on Kepler 10c would be around 3 times stronger than Earth.
- Due to its mass and strong gravity Kepler 10c is a very dense planet with elements being highly compressed.
- With surface temperatures over 200C (400F) Kepler 10c is far too hot to support any kind of lifeforms.
- One other planet exists in the Kepler 10 system, it is a much smaller rocky planet that orbits extremely closely to its host star.
The sun like star Kepler 10 being transited by the smaller rocky planet in the system.
Kepler 10c OrbitKepler 10c orbits its host star at a distance of around 22 million miles (36 million km) and takes 45 days to make one complete orbit.
Kepler 10c AtmosphereDetails of the planet's atmosphere are as yet unknown but it is thought the planet's enormous mass would have attracted a very thick atmosphere, as a result Kepler 10c may suffer from a runaway greenhouse effect.
Kepler 10c Mass and RadiusKepler 10c is estimated to have a mass around 17 times that of Earth with a radius of 9,400 miles (15,000 km), almost 2.5 times that of Earth.
Kepler 10c StatisticsHost Star: Kepler 10
Host Star Type: Yellow Dwarf - G Type Main Sequence
Host Star Mass: 90% of Sun
Distance from Earth: 560 light years
Planets Detected in System: 2
Discovery Date: 23rd May 2011
Detection Method: Transit Method
Exoplanet Type: Mega Earth
Mass: 17 x Earth
Diameter: 18,800 miles (30,000 km), 2.35 x Earth
Distance from host star: 22 million miles (36 million km)
Orbital Period: 45 days
Temperature: Surface temperatures around 225C (437F).
Gravity: 3 x Earth gravity
Possibility of Life: None