Exotic Watery World

GJ 1214b
GJ 1214b Orbiting a Star 42 Light Years from Earth
Image Credit: David A. Aguilar

New observations by the Wide Field Camera 3 aboard the Hubble Space Telescope have added new details to this previously studied exoplanet (also here). The study describing the planet’s properties will appear in the 1 March 2012 issue of The Astrophysical Journal.

The planet orbits a small star about 42 light years away, and is 6.5 times as heavy as the Earth. However, the density is very low, suggesting that the planet is mostly water, with a exotic solid water core, due to the high pressure.

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