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Super-Earth Discovered by Astronomers

Super-Earth Discovered by Astronomers
culture

Astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have discovered a planet mostly made out of water 40 light years away.

Francisco Hui
  • 18 december 2009

Astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have discovered a planet mostly made out of water 40 light years away.

Named GJ 1214b, it’s 2.5 times the size of Earth. Even though it’s covered with water, the atmosphere and its proximity to the sun render the environment inhospitable to life as we know it.

What’s also surprising is the number of new planets that are constantly discovered, but aren’t deemed essential because they resemble gas planets like Jupiter. There have been few discoveries of super-earths, which are defined as bigger than Earth, but smaller than gas giants.

[ NPR via Seed Magazine ]

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