At least not for life, that is.
CoRoT-7b is the first rocky exoplanet to be discovered. It’s only 480 light years away, which is about 2,821,740,179,128,132 miles.
OK, that’s kind of boring since all stars are really fucking far away. But Space.com is reporting some new interesting details about CoRoT-7b.
For one thing, it’s in an orbit only about 1.6 million miles from its parent star. To put that in perspective, it’s six times further away from its parent star as the Moon is to Earth, and it’s six times closer to its parent star than Mercury is to the Moon. For now, we are stuck only able to identify exoplanets with a very short orbit because the methods of detection depend on a planet’s subtle interactions with its parent star, either through a wobble due to gravity or from a planet’s transit as in the Kepler Mission.
Of course, the whole idea of finding an Earth-like exoplanet is to either find life on other worlds or to find a place where someday we might be able to migrate. And it turns out that CoRoT-7b is not a very good candidate for either of these goals. Since it orbits is so small, temperatures in the daytime get up to 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The thing is that daytime never really ends on CoRoT-7b unless you move to the opposite side of the planet. Like our Moon, CoRoT-7b is tidally locked so that one side is always facing the star while the other side inspired Pink Floyd albums. So the “dark side” of CoRoT-7b which never sees sunlight is perpetually at around 350 degrees Farenheit below zero.
Obviously I have little to no clue what I’m talking about here, but it seems to me that there must be some slices of CoRoT-7b which are somewhere in what’s called the “Goldy Locks Zone” where the temperature is such so that water can exist as a liquid. Maybe somewhere on CoRoT-7b you can find some place stuck in a perpetual sunrise or sunset where life could exist. It doesn’t seem plausible that there would be direct boundaries between extreme cold and extreme heat. There should be a spectrum of gray area going from one to the other. But that’s probably just the nanobots talking again.
Oh yeah, rocks also rain down on the planet, apparently. So yeah, probably no life here. That is all.