Earth's oceans have been around for about 4 billion years, but they've changed a lot since the early millennia when they covered the whole planet and harbored methane-loving microbes. On a super-Earth, however, oceans might persist for more than twice as long — with intriguing results.
Our galaxy is filled with massive planets known as super-Earths. But what these planets are like has been anyone's guess. Now, for the first time, astronomers have determined that a super-Earth 42 light years away is incredibly cloudy – and that could affect our search for life on these potentially habitable worlds.
At just 40 light years from Earth, Gliese 1214b is one of the nearest Super-Earths we've discovered in our search for planets beyond the solar system. Now, a team of Japanese researchers say it could well be an "ocean world," abundant in good old H2O.
NASA's Kepler telescope has now identified an insane 2,326 possible exoplanets. What's particularly shocking is how many of these planets are giant rocky planets known as Super-Earths, which defies everything we thought we knew about planet formation.
The Kepler-18 system is one of the galaxy's busiest places, with two Neptune-sized planets and a super-Earth orbiting around a single star. We know this, thanks to a bold new exoplanet-hunting technique that could help us find more Earth-like planets.
All planets are vast clumps of dust and gas packed together by gravity. If there's lots of material, a gas giant is the result. If there isn't much material, you get a rocky planet. At least, that's what we thought.
HD 85512 b is a rocky planet about 3.6 times the mass of Earth, located right at the edge of its star's habitable zone. That means it's capable of supporting life... and the early results suggest it's a very real possibility.
We've discovered 500 exoplanets, most of them gas giants even bigger than Jupiter. But some, known as super-Earths, are rocky worlds only a bit larger than our planet, and now we've discovered the cloudy atmosphere of one of these worlds.
A Sun-like star is home to two huge planets both about the size of Saturn. This pair of planets are locked in orbital resonance, with one planet taking almost exactly twice as long to orbit the star as the other.
Jupiter became the solar system's biggest planet by consuming its chief rival, a massive rocky planet ten times bigger than Earth. New discoveries suggest Jupiter and Saturn learned a lesson from their mythological namesakes, "eating" any planet that opposed them.
This is how I imagine GJ1214b, a super-Earth discovered only forty light-years away from us, orbiting a red dwarf star in the constellation of Ophiuchus. The good news: It's three parts water. The bad news: The beaches are too hot.
Just 13 parsecs away, a planet astronomers are calling a "super Earth" is orbiting a dwarf star. Its radius is over twice that of Earth, and there's something very surprising in its core.
If life on Earth isn't doing it for you, then there's good news - an alternative may be around the corner. As German scientists announce that theoretical "Super-Earths" - planets 10 times the size of Earth with similar atmospheres - could support life for 35 per cent longer than our home planet, NASA scientists have…