top of page

Research about 55 Cancri e


Radius: 11,946 km

Distance to Earth: 40 light years

Discovered: 30 August 2004

Coordinates: RA 8h 52m 36s | Dec +28° 19′ 51″

Star55 Cancri A

Did you know: 55 Cancri e is one of five planets encircling a sun-like star called 55 Cancri, which lies about 40 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Cancer. (Wiki)


55 Cancri e is an exoplanet which is orbiting the star 55 Cancri a. It is also called a super-earth among the astronomers because the situation of the planet is quite similar to the earth. It is orbiting the sunlike star, also it was thought of made of rock and there is an atmosphere around the planet same as the earth.

To visualize an exoplanet 55 Cancri e

Why it is difficult to see by telescape?

Even though the 55 Cancri solar system is on the Milky Way Galaxy, why there is no photographic evidence of e, it is because e is an exoplanet.  Exoplanets are very hard to see directly with telescopes because they are hidden by the bright glare of stars. So, when I paint an exoplanet, a painter must do it base on the data of the planet and own imagination. 

​To capture the scale of 55 Cancri A and E


According to the researcher, 55 Cancri e is a very hot planet and it is melting always because it is quite close to the sunlike star 55 Cancri A as you can see the graph below.


The surface temperature is 1371-2436℃, Size is two times of the earth, made of rock, and located on Cancer.

IMG_9052 2.png
IMG_9051 2.png
IMG_9055 2.png
IMG_9056 2.png
IMG_9054 2.png

Those images are my research about the location of the Cancri comparing the sun solar system. I made a simple 3D map of the Cancri and the Sun solar system on the Milky Way Galaxy using an app "Exoplanet". We can see the things that E's trajectory is small and it is orbiting the star match quicker than the earth. 

IMG_2149 2.JPG

To capture the exact scale and distant between 55 Cancri A and E to think of the painting composition, I tried to make a reduced model of them, but I couldn't. The reason why when I calculated the ratio of those two, it was. That means If I made a model, A's diameter will be about 1m against the diameter of the E less than 1cm. 

I've learned It is impossible to measure lives in the universe by our scare. Then I decided to paint A and E separately and to believe my impression or imagination as an artist more than scientific belief or data.

Actually, when I asked about the material or detailed scale of them to the professional astronomer, the most of answer was that "We don't know". None knows realities of them. When I visualize them, I knew that the artistic sense will be the biggest hint of the reality.


Firstly I tried to paint 55 Cancri A and E together in a painting because currently those two are visualized in a set. However, I couldn't know the exact distance between them to configure the composition. So I will try to paint only 55 Cancri e while expressing the connection to the A which is out of the painting by suggesting the heat quantity of the E from A.

Visual Discription to paint as well as exactly

Although no one knows the realities of E, to learn another perspective, I corrected NASA images about E some artist made.

Screen Shot 2019-03-05 at 12.12.10.png
Screen Shot 2019-03-05 at 12.11.53.png
Screen Shot 2019-03-05 at 14.26.57.png

The position of 55 Cancri solar system and visual images. It seems like just very hot, clase to the star, and small. but the earth is the half size of E.

Screen Shot 2019-03-05 at 14.28.39.png

​The description of NASA mission to capture the light of E, It's too difficult for me.

Screen Shot 2019-03-05 at 14.29.28.png
Screen Shot 2019-03-05 at 14.29.18.png
Screen Shot 2019-03-05 at 14.29.43.png
Screen Shot 2019-03-05 at 12.14.39.png

A close-up image of E and comparison with the earth, and the predicted surface of E. According to the researcher, E is a rocky planet. The surface always raises the steam, it is melting down gradually like a lava flow because the sunlike star A is too close. As a result, E will disappear in a few thousand years. Some of the images above also seem like rocky, but the colour is varied. Some researcher says there is a layer within the planet which is made of diamond since the mass of E is heavier than another planets. On the other hand, some researcher says E is made of liquid and gas. The first image may be based on the latter idea. 

E is the planet which is rocky, incredibly hot, melting like a lava flow, two times big of the eath, maybe a diamond layer inside or may be made of liquid and gas.

Screen Shot 2019-03-05 at 14.29.28.png
Screen Shot 2019-05-21 at 13.26.42.png
Screen Shot 2019-05-21 at 13.27.01.png
Screen Shot 2019-05-21 at 13.26.52.png

Those are the research to embody the image of e. In this process, I connected scientific knowledge and my personsl experiences by seeing, touching, and drawing actual objects relating e.



Those drawings are the role of a reminder of what kind of images came up with my mind during the research.


two drawings on the top are simply the image of cancri e. they represent my image of an incredibly hot atmosphere around the planet and the melting and evaporating body.


The middle drawings indicate two different types of the lava flow. the left side is much more sticky than the right side.  Unfortunately, we can't analyze which types of lava are covering the planet, but astronomer predicts the lave of e could be like right side image. The surface temperature is nearly 5000 degree and lava will be heated up til became yellowish orange color and less sticky in such the hot environment.


The bottom drawings represent the fragment. the minerals inside e could be hard pressed by the gravity pressure and becoming transparency like jellies. Those are the example images of the inner layer.


​Mood Board

This is the mood board of e. It makes it easier to imagine e and depict realistically. I mainly collected images of the actual lava flow and the texture, and the photo of the planet is Mars. The reddish-yellow mark in the left side bottom on the planet is the lava lake. It represents how the lava lake looks like from the far point where we can overlook a whole planet. And the 3D image of the anatomy of a planet is just for the inspiration. This image supports to imagine the formation of the planet. The image of right side bottom is the summation of a round shape lava stone. E is repeating dissolution and coagulation by each 18 hours orbit, it is a model of the circulation.

bottom of page