A small, hot earth-like planet has been discovered by astronomers led by the French Space Agency using the COROT space telescope, detected outside the Solar System, which has a surface to walk on.
Measuring less than twice the size of Earth and it orbits a Sun-like star. Its temperature is so high ranging between 1000 and 1500 degrees Celsius that it is possibly covered in lava or water vapor.
For the first time, we have unambiguously detected a planet that is 'rocky' in the same sense as our own Earth, said Malcolm Fridlund, ESA's COROT Project Scientist. We now have to understand this object further to put it into context, and continue our search for smaller, more Earth-like objects with COROT.
It looks like the mass is not well-determined and so that's why they're saying they're not sure what the density is, Sara Seager, an astrophysicist at MIT told SPACE.com. They think it is terrestrial-like. It might have water ice, or it might have rocks, but it's certainly not a gas giant.
The researchers announced the finding yesterday at a COROT symposium in Paris, estimating the planet ranges from 5.7 to 11 Earth masses.