258 more words
Weather forecasters on exoplanet GJ 1214b would have an easy job. Today’s forecast: cloudy. Tomorrow: overcast. Extended outlook: more clouds.
That’s the implication of a study led by researchers in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago who have definitively characterized the atmosphere of a super-Earth class planet orbiting another star for the first time.
Tags » GJ 1214b
Science loves big sample groups. When you’re trying to run a good experiment, your results will be a lot more reliable if you have a couple thousand subjects instead of, say, a couple dozen. 949 more words
46 more words
But because the planet is also in a much closer orbit to its star than Earth is to the Sun (Just over a million miles away compared to Earth’s 93 million miles, with a year of just 38 hours), its surface temperature is way hotter: an average 446 degrees fahrenheit, according to estimates from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center.
Scientists have discovered a new type of alien planet — a steamy waterworld that is larger than Earth but smaller than Uranus.
The standard-bearer for this new class of exoplanet is called GJ 1214b, which astronomers first discovered in December 2009. 160 more words