Sci-Tech

Survive on this planet and you could live to be 150,000

Astronomers have located a second exoplanet where a year lasts less than the run time of half a season of "Game of Thrones."

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Artist's rendering of a planet in close orbit of an m-dwarf star.

NASA/JPL-CalTech

Forget the Iron Islands from "Game of Thrones." If you're looking for some truly desolate corners of our non-fiction universe, there are two bizarre iron planets you should know about.

While winters in Westeros can last a long time, the years fly by on EPIC 228813918 b. Because the exoplanet orbits the m-dwarf star EPIC 228813918 in less than four and a half Earth-hours, one day here equals more than five years there.

An international team of scientists used data from NASA's Kepler Space Telescope to measure the orbit of the distant world and compiled their findings in a paper submitted to the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Making it more intriguing is the fact that EPIC 228813918 b is roughly Earth-sized and thought to be composed of at least 45 percent iron. But it is not the planet with the shortest year/orbit found yet. The planet KOI 1843.03, which orbits its own m-dwarf star four minutes faster, is of similar size and also heavy with iron.

So it seems there may be an oddball category of planets on which you might technically be able to live to be 150,000 years old, given current average human lifespans and ideal living conditions. 

Of course, if you kept up your current lifestyle you'd likely end up sleeping for two full years in a row each time you went to bed so those thousands of years would really fly by.

The intense radiation a planet orbiting that close to its star likely experiences could also cut into your total years, but it might still be more hospitable than the Iron Islands.

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