Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/23/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

More than twice the size of Earth, world dominated by water and not rock

The planet is being described as "a waterworld enshrouded by a thick, steamy atmosphere." The planet is an entirely different kind of planet dominated by water and not by rock, gas or other common materials. Researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics made the discovery after scrutinizing the planet with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

Described as a 'super-Earth,' GJ1214b is about 2.7 times Earth's diameter.

Described as a "super-Earth," GJ1214b is about 2.7 times Earth's diameter.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/23/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: GJ1214b, waterworld, planets, astronomy


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Dubbed "GJ1214b," the planet was discovered in 2009 by the ground-based Earth Project. "GJ1214b is like no planet we know of," astronomer Zachary Berta said. "A huge fraction of its mass is made up of water."

Described as a "super-Earth," it is about 2.7 times Earth's diameter.

Continuing studies in 2010 led to scientists suspecting that the planet, where the temperature is some 450 degrees Fahrenheit was largely covered in water. Bertha confirmed this, and his co-authors used the Hubble to study the planet when it crossed in front of its host star.

The light of the star, filtered through the planet's atmosphere, gave clues to the mix of gasses, backing up the water vapor theory.

"The Hubble measurements really tip the balance in favor of a steamy atmosphere," Berta said.

Further measurements and estimates led scientists to conclude that the planet has much more water than Earth and much less rock.

That, together with high temperatures and pressure, likely produce some highly exotic results, including "hot ice," scientists say.

Our solar system contains three basic planet types: rocky, like Earth; gas giants like Jupiter or Saturn; and ice giants like Uranus.

Some other factoids about the freshly discovered planet include the fact that GJ1214b orbits its red-dwarf star every 38 hours at a distance of 1.3 million miles. This means that the planet has a steam temperature of 450 degrees Fahrenheit. According to researchers, "the high temperatures and high pressures would form exotic materials like 'hot ice' or 'superfluid water,' substances that are completely alien to our everyday experience."

In addition, the planet is well-traveled - Theorists believe that GJ1214b formed "farther out from its star," then traveled inward over the course of its history, landing in the system's "habitable zone."

.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Technology

A confident Ballmer leaves Microsoft 'completely' to run the Clippers Watch

Image of Steve Ballmer has left all positions of authority at Microsoft, leaving behind the tech giant to run the Los Angeles Clippers, for which Ballmer paid a record $2 billion.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Eight months after he ended his role as Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer resigned from Microsoft's board, a move that ends more than three decades of direct involvement in the world's largest software maker. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 58-year-old, who ... continue reading


Why did NASA turn the cameras off? Live feed from Space Station shows UFO, NASA cuts the feed Watch

Image of Is this evidence of a UFO? Or perhaps just venting gasses or debris from the ISS?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fans of the International Space Station got an eyeful recently when an alleged UFO appeared on NASA's live feed from the station. Curiously, the feed was interrupted as soon as the object appeared fueling rumors that NASA is engaged in a cover-up. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Have you been hacked? New report says millions of personal information has been stolen Watch

Image of Russian hackers recently gathered customer individuals from more than 420,000 websites.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Russian hackers gathered information from over 420,000 websites, both smaller sites and "household name" sites, in an attempt to gather passwords to send out spam. LOS ANGLES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hold Security, a Milwaukee-based firm, discovered the theft but ... continue reading


ROSETTA: After 10 long years - 'We're in orbit!' Watch

Image of Exciting new images, taken from just 80 miles away shows boulders, craters and steep cliffs.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

All things come to those who wait. "After 10 years, five months and four days travelling towards our destination, looping around the sun five times, we are delighted to announce finally 'we are here,'" Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA's Director General, said in a ... continue reading


Xiaomi overtakes Samsung as leading Smartphone maker Watch

Image of Xiaomi has evolved from a niche player in China to a major force in its home market.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

How do you pronounce Xiaomi? Think of "show me," and then pronounce the first syllable as if it was in "shower." While Xiaomi in English translates as "little rice," there's nothing little about this Chinese Smartphone manufacturer - Xiaomi has knocked South ... continue reading


Next Mars rover will try to create oxygen on planet's surface Watch

Image of Being able to produce oxygen could help with that ambition, since transporting fuel is heavy and expensive. Other NASA spacecraft can already produce oxygen from CO2.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The next Martian rover that NASA sends to the red planet will attempt to make oxygen on the surface when it lands there in 2021. In addition, the rover will carry seven scientific projects, aimed at paving the way for future manned missions, seeking evidence of ... continue reading


Astronomers discover a 'magnifying glass' in space that acts like a time machine Watch

Image of Images which reveal the galaxies in question. They may look like pixels, however by examining light in fine detail with sensitive instruments astronomers can reveal a lot of basic knowledge about the objects.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Astronomers have discovered a virtual magnifying glass in space that allows them to look farther back in time than they normally can, to an age when the universe was young and contained less mysterious dark matter. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Astronomers ... continue reading


Amazing sight beheld on Saturn's moon: More than 100 geysers spewing forth Watch

Image of NASA's Cassini spacecraft first spotted the geysers as plumes in 2005.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The universe has offered up many amazing sights over the past years, but the most recent one seems to take it all. At least 101 geysers have been discovered erupting on Saturn's frozen moon Enceladus. This find suggests that it may be possible for liquid water ... continue reading


Here are 12 amazing images of outer space. Number 6 is our favorite! Watch

Image of Nebulae are created when great stars explode, scattering their guts across space where they form new stars and solar systems.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There are wondrous sights in the heavens above! Space is packed with treasures beyond imagination. While we can see many things with just our eyes alone, instruments like the Hubble Space Telescope have given us some incredible close-ups packed with amazing detail. ... continue reading


Astronomers crack mystery of 'transformer' star Watch

Image of The mysterious star switches between two states of energy output, baffling scientists -- until now.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Astronomers have discovered a star that seems to vary and vanish in a surprising fashion. They mystery may now have been solved. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Scientists observing a pulsar have been surprised to notice the star disappear and reappear in their ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ezekiel 34:1-11
1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6
1 [Psalm Of David] Yahweh is my shepherd, I lack ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:1-16
1 'Now the kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 20th, 2014 Image

St. Bernard of Clairvaux
August 20: St. Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church St. Bernard was born ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter