Aug. 19 (UPI) -- A rocky planet orbiting a star beyond the Sun does not have an atmosphere, according to a study released Monday.
The study published in the journal Nature found that the Earth-sized exoplanet known as LHS 3844b is hot, with no gasses surrounding it, similar to Mercury, and lacks the thin atmosphere that helps to facilitate life on Earth.
"The temperature contrast on this planet is about as big as it can possibly be," said Harvard researcher Laura Kreidberg, the study's lead author. "That matches beautifully with our model of a bare rock with no atmosphere."
The planet is likely "tidally locked" meaning one side of the planet permanently faces the star it orbits, with temperatures on that side reaching about 1,410 degrees.
NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Satelite Survey discovered the planet, which has a radius 1.3 times that of earth, in 2018.
The study published Monday used data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to provide information about the atmosphere of a terrestrial world around an M dwarf star for the first time.
"We've got lots of theories about how planetary atmospheres fare around M dwarfs, but we haven't been able to study them empirically," said Kreidberg. "Now, with LHS 3844b, we have a terrestrial planet outside our solar system where for the first time we can determine observationally that an atmosphere is not present."