Distant planet an exotic water-world | Science News


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Distant planet an exotic water-world

Orb is unlike anything in the solar system

6:02pm, February 22, 2012

A new class of planet has emerged from the buzzing masses of celestial spinners, a type unlike the rocky, gassy and icy worlds shuffling around the solar system.

The poster-planet for this new order is GJ 1214b, first discovered in 2009 and now shown to be a steamy, water-rich sphere. But it’s not a water-world in the sense of splashing oceans and Kevin Costner: Scientists suspect that the planet’s interior is filled with some exotic, high-pressure form of solid H2O unlike anything seen on Earth. 

The planet is just 6.5 times more massive than Earth and about 2.7 times bigger in diameter.  It circles a small

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