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Super-Earths harbouring ‘forbidden’ substances

Washington: A team of scientist has found “forbidden substances” on the super-Earths.

Using mathematical models, MIPT scientists have ‘looked’ into the interior of super-Earths and discovered that they may contain compounds that are forbidden by the classical rules of chemistry and these substances may increase the heat transfer rate and strengthen the magnetic field on these planets.

In their latest paper, the researchers attempted to find out which compounds may be formed by silicon, oxygen, and magnesium at high pressures. These particular elements were not chosen by chance.

Earth-like planets consist of a thin silicate crust, a silicate-oxide mantle, which makes up approximately 7/8 of the Earth’s volume and consists more than 90 percent of silicates and magnesium oxide and an iron core. “We can say that magnesium, oxygen, and silicon form the basis of chemistry on Earth and on Earth-like planets,” said team leader Artem Oganov.

The results of the computer modelling show that the interior of these planets, which include the recently discovered Gliese 832c that is five times heavier than the Earth or the mega-Earth Kepler-10c that is 17 times heavier than the Earth may contain the “exotic” compounds MgSi3O12 and MgSiO6. They have many more oxygen atoms than the MgSiO3 on Earth.

The findings are published in the journal Scientific Reports. (ANI)