Each day we stumble upon something that pays homage to our perception of the universe. While our decimal numerical system is completely arbitrary (well, it still helps us make sense of the universe), it's still fun to come up against coincidences such as the π Earth, which is a planet roughly the size of Earth and orbits around its star every 3.14 days. Also, did you know that we could represent the pi in binary as 11.001001?
A team led by MIT scientists discovered the far-away planet and named it K2-315b. The planet has a radius 0.95 times that of Earth and similar to Earth, it's also rocky.
One key difference is that it's literally "baking hot." The scientists behind the discovery note that it's the perfect temperature to bake a pie. How cool/hot is that?
In order to make a pie, you need to have a telescope first
The discovery was made thanks to the data gathered in NASA's Kepler Space Telescope K2's 2017 mission. The space telescope was put in a permanent sleep mode in 2018. To confirm that they were, indeed, looking at an exoplanet, the team took another glimpse at the exoplanet from the ground-based SPECULOOS telescope network.
SPECULOOS is the abbreviation of "Search for habitable Planets EClipsing ULtra-cOOl Stars." It's also a reference to that traditional Dutch spicy ginger cookie -- yes, that one which mothers all around the world turn into a sewing toolkit.
Orbiting around a cool and dim star, the K2-315b moves at 181,000 mph (291,000 km/h). As the exoplanet moves rather close to its star at times during orbit, it's surface temperature hits 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius) at times.
The team also noted that the exoplanet is a perfect candidate for future observations for the upcoming Webb Space Telescope of NASA.
The paper was published this week on The Astronomical Journal.